Nearly $1 billion in economic impact brought in by KFC Yum! Center in under a decade

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KFC Yum! Center(tcw-wave)
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 4:37 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A recent study conducted by Hunden Partners for Louisville Tourism revealed the KFC Yum! Center has brought in nearly $1 billion in economic impact in under a decade.

The economic impact of the arena over the last nine fiscal years of the venue’s operation, excluding the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021, is $942 million, averaging $122 million annually.

A previous study commissioned by Louisville Tourism reported the during the first four years the venue opened, said the Yum! Center contributed approximately $581 million in economic impact from 2010 to 2014.

“The findings of the study by Hunden Partners validates for Louisville Tourism, the Louisville Area Authority and other stakeholders that the value proposition envisioned for the arena in 2005 continues to hold true,” Louisville Arena Authority Chair Leslie Geoghegan said. “The results demonstrate the return on investment for our partners – the State, Metro Louisville, and the University of Louisville – with the significant economic impact that the KFC Yum! Center has on the Louisville community. We are excited to see its continued success into the future.”

“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,” Louisville Tourism President and CEO Cleo Battle said. “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.” By The Numbers: KFC Yum! Center Economic Impact During the Analysis Period (2015-2023)

A generated average of $29.1 million in annual earnings supported an average of 584 full-time jobs annually just within the Louisville Metro area, a release said. Within the studied time frame, approximately 54% of visits to the Yum! Center came from outside of Jefferson County, while 25% of spending came from outside of Kentucky.

The study also showed the total number of events hosted at the KFC Yum! Center has rebounded to 84% of pre-pandemic levels.

Several factors cited in the study have led to the continued success of the KFC Yum! Center. For example, the Yum! Center has a capacity of 22,090, which is the largest arena within a 400-mile radius, and the fifth-largest arena in the nation.

“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,” ASM Global General Manager Eric Granger said. “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. 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.”