KFC Yum! Center
Louisville, KY is known for the derby, bourbon, and basketball. These passions were the driving force behind the Louisville Arena Authority’s development of the KFC Yum! Center. The 22,000-seat multi-use arena serves as home to the basketball programs of the University of Louisville Cardinals, a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Located in the heart of downtown, the facility was designed to accommodate a wide variety of events and provides a large exterior plaza with views of the city.
Developing such a large arena in the downtown community was an impressive feat. Built as an economic engine to revitalize the downtown area, the development had been on local leaders’ wish lists for a few decades. Taking the facility from the drawing board to reality required feats of vision, leadership, determination, coordination, and cooperation over the course of more than five years.
During construction, the design team faced a few challenges including a change in subconsultants during design. To ensure the project stayed on track, the design team stepped in with recommendations for local subconsultants to help complete the job. The entire team worked together with the Louisville Arena Authority, who provided input on design elements for the arena project.
After construction was completed in the fall of 2010, KFC Yum! Center quickly became known as one of the best facilities in the nation for its wide variety of amenities. The long list of amenities include: 2,084 club seats, 72 luxury suites, four club lounges, four party suites, four meeting rooms, five auxiliary locker rooms, 5-star dressing rooms, 27 permanent concession stands (with 32 portable temporary stands), a 2,500 SF Cardinal Authentic team store, practice court, and a 760-car underground parking garage. Because of these premier amenities, the KFC Yum! Center was selected by the NCAA to be a host site for the first two rounds of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament in 2012.
The most unique feature of the arena is the northern side of the lower level. In this area, guests can enjoy an 8,750 SF sports bar, three concession stands that consist of Yum! brands KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut, and a public food court area that gives fans a breathtaking view of the Ohio River.