Louisville Arena Authority Awards KFC Yum! Center Contract

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The Louisville Arena Authority has appointed ASM Global as the venue manager for sports and entertainment destination the KFC Yum! Center.

A study conducted by Hunden Partners for Louisville Tourism has determined the venue to have contributed US $942 million to the local economy (or US $122 million annually) over the last 9 years.

“Understanding the impact of one of the city’s largest venues for hosting events helps identify what some of the key drivers of tourism are to Louisville,” says Louisville Tourism President and CEO Cleo Battle. “We will use the information gleaned from this report to deploy marketing strategies that will help Louisville grow our record visitation of 19 million in 2019 to 25 million by 2030.”

The KFC Yum! Center in Numbers: Economic Impact During the Analysis Period (2015-2023)

  • The KFC Yum! Center generated an average US $29.1 million in annual earnings supporting an average of 584 full-time jobs annually just within the Louisville Metro area.
  • More than US $58.5 million in taxes were generated by the KFC Yum! Center and its visitors, representing an average of US $7.6 million annually (excluding pandemic lockdowns).
  • During the nine-year period between FY 2015 and 2023, the facility has generated nearly US $942 million in total spending within the Louisville economy, or an average of US $122 million per year.
  • Approximately 54 per cent of visits to the facility came from outside of Jefferson County, while 25 per cent of spending came from outside of Kentucky.
  • The total number of events hosted at the KFC Yum! Center has rebounded to 84 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

Several factors cited in the study have led to the continued success of the KFC Yum! Center.

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  • The Louisville Arena Authority engaged ASM Global to conduct a 30-year capital improvement plan based on the useful life of various assets. The plan identifies annual improvements to the arena with the intent of keeping the KFC Yum! Center a state-of-the-art venue that will continue to attract top sporting and entertainment events.
  • The KFC Yum! Center, with a capacity of 22,090, is the largest arena within a 400-mile radius and the fifth largest arena in the nation. This adds a value proposition for touring artists looking to attract large crowds. The venue regularly hosts the largest selling concert of an artist’s entire tour. 
  • In 2021, the KFC Yum! Center completed a US $8 million renovation that included video, audio and broadcast upgrades, as well as concession and carpeting updates.

“We are so grateful that we continue to work with the nation’s top promoters and event producers to bring high-caliber concerts, sporting events and more to Louisville and to our local and regional fanbase who continues to support these events and drive additional revenue to the region. Additionally, we are fully committed to serving the community and surrounding areas by hosting a variety of events from local graduations to large scale charity benefits,” says Eric Granger, general manager, ASM Global. “I’m very proud of our team who works so hard to ensure the KFC Yum! Center is very well maintained and remains competitive in the sports and live entertainment industry. The strength of the numbers shown in this report provide a great outlook for the future and we feel very confident in continued success for the KFC Yum! Center and surrounding businesses.”

The venue continues to attract top-tier talent to Louisville and remains one of the region’s most significant forces in driving economic growth. The 22,090 seat arena has hosted approximately 115 events per year, ranging from national concert tours with top-selling artists, major sporting events and University of Louisville basketball games to graduations, conventions and more. 

Notable events over the past decade include Morgan Wallen’s concert in April 2023, which posted the venue’s largest grossing ticket sales ever, as well as sold-out shows featuring acts like Elton John, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Eric Church, Guns N Roses, P!NK and many more. Exciting sporting events such as the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball and Women’s Volleyball Tournaments, Professional Bull Riding, USA Gymnastics Championships and more continue to drive attendance and revenue at the arena.

The venue also hosted Muhammad Ali’s funeral in June 2016 and is home to a wide variety of unique events annually.

We are so grateful that we continue to work with the nation’s top promoters and event producers to bring high-caliber concerts, sporting events and more to Louisville and to our local and regional fanbase who continues to support these events and drive additional revenue to the region.

Staff Reporter

Staff Reporter

FMIndustry.com covers the latest news, trends and opinion from the facilities management (FM) and corporate real estate (CRE) sectors. The FM market is currently estimated to be worth USD 1 trillion annually and is projected to grow at a compounded annualised rate of approximately 5% between now and 2026.

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