Louisville arena opens after years of work

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The KFC Yum! Center doors opened to the public for the first time on Sunday. It was the official ribbon cutting for the first sports and entertainment arena built in Louisville in 54 years.

Spectators say it's everything they had hoped it would be.

"Just the scenery, just the scenery is beautiful," said Wesley Keys.

"I think it's beautiful, it's state of the art no doubt about it," said Jerry Wilson.

The $238 million, 721,762 square-foot multipurpose KFC Yum! Center will open this week as host to the University of Louisville men's basketball team, multiple concerts and the host of postseason basketball in the city for the first time in more than 20 years.

Louisville officials and businesses hope the arena serves as a magnet to downtown, where people will attend events and stay for dinner, drinks and entertainment.

"Not taking away nothing from Freedom Hall but, this is a lot better right here," Thurman Dorsey.

The arena's first scheduled events are a concert by the Eagles on Saturday and Lady Gaga in March. Tourism officials hope high-profile concerts such as those will bring in visitors from out-of-town for overnight stays.

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