Traffic Alerts

Kentucky International Convention Center Holds Topping Off Ceremony

news image

Kentucky International Convention Center Holds Topping Off Ceremony

October 19, 2017 

A steel beam, signed by local and state officials, ironworkers and project officials, is hoisted to the top of the Kentucky International Convention Center (KICC). It carried an evergreen, symbolizing good luck, and a U.S. flag, in honor of the American Dream.


The origin of the Topping Off Ceremony stretches back 1,000 years to a Scandinavian custom that celebrates the raising of a building’s highest structural element.


KICC’s highest point is 118′-4″, the top of the existing supertruss above the main concourse floor. The new construction’s highest, most visible element is 69′-10″, the white canopy above the main concourse floor.


The renovation and expansion project requires heavy-duty machines, currently totaling six cranes and five excavators. The debris diverted and generated during the process include:

Total debris: 34,701.66 tons

Diverted for recycling and reuse: 29,831.28 tons

Percentage diverted: 85.96%, goal of 75% exceeded

The amount of steel in the renovated portion of the Kentucky International Convention Center weighs in at 4,800 tons.


Opening day for the new Kentucky International Convention Center is slated for Aug. 1, 2018.


The Kentucky International Convention Center will compete in the top-tier convention center market. The expansion can accommodate 90-95% of the national event market and provide a competitive edge over Nashville, Cincinnati, Kansas City, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Charlotte and Columbus. Projections include a 25% increase in conventions and tradeshows at KICC.

The new facility will offer:

200,125 sq. ft. contiguous Class A exhibit space

40,000 sq. ft. column-free ballroom, with color-changing LED walls

52 meeting rooms

175-seat tiered conference theatre

15,000 meals-per-day kitchen capacity

Simplified pedestrian circulation and wayfinding


KICC offers competitive pricing and, upon completion, will operate as a best-in-class convention center that few can rival. Together Louisville and the Kentucky International Convention Center provide additional advantages other cities and facilities cannot, including:

Walking distance to downtown attractions such as Whiskey Row, Slugger Museum, Muhammad Ali Museum, 4th Street Live, Urban Bourbon Trail, Frazier History Museum, NuLu and more

Close proximity to more than 6,000 hotel rooms

Within a day’s drive of 65% of the U.S. population

Named one of the top 10 food cities by National Geographic, 2017

Named one of the top 50 cities for meetings and events in the U.S. by Cvent, 2016

Recognized as host to five of the country’s largest 100 trade shows by Trade Show News Network, 2016

– Named one of the top 15 friendliest cities in America by World & Leisure, 2016

Named one of the 14 places in America you have to visit by USA Today, 2016

The $207-million KICC renovation and expansion project is an economic driver, bringing work, economic impact, economic growth and new jobs to the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Contributions include:

Awarded 20% of work to companies headed by minorities and 5% to woman-owned companies

Committed to hiring local, with Jefferson County workers completing 60% of hours worked

Generating $53 million in annual economic impact when complete

Increasing downtown business by up to 25 percent when complete

Supporting an estimated 1,055 full and part-time jobs

Increasing Louisville’s status as a destination city

Stimulating growth in downtown’s hospitality industry:

Year Hotels Hotel Rooms

2017 17 4,790

2018 25 6,316


More than 50 conventions are already booked for 2018 and beyond, including:

Connect Marketplace
August 2019, $5.3 million economic impact, 11,000+ hotel room nights, 5,000 attendees

National Association for College Admission Counseling
September 2019, $6.5 million economic impact, 12,000+ hotel room nights, 6,000 attendees

American Legion
August 2020, $14.5 million economic impact, 17,000+ hotel room nights, 9,200 attendees


The new Kentucky International Convention Center will be LEED (Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design) Silver certified. Administered by the United States Green Building Council, the program encourages sustainable design, energy efficiency and the reduction of waste products. The
KICC concept and design incorporated a focus on recycled content, low-emitting materials and optimized energy performance.

Projections for the new “green” Kentucky International Convention Center include a 34% energy use savings, resulting in:

24% reduction in utility cost

32% reduction in water use


KICC will feature the latest technology throughout the facility:

High-capacity Wi-Fi

Digital signage-wayfinding-meeting schedulers

High-definition audiovisual systems

Facility-wide sound system for announcements and alarms

High-efficiency LED lighting and HVAC systems


The Kentucky International Convention Center will continue to focus on improving guest experience with new features and elements that are both aesthetic and functional.

Building design features a great deal of glass, visually connecting inside and outside spaces

Canopy skylights deliver natural light to lobbies

4th Street lobby showcases a grand staircase. Grand staircase features two sets of 7′ wide steps and provides an 11′ wide seating area.

Pre-function and circulation spaces make wayfinding easier

Large rooftop canopy makes KICC easily identifiable from several blocks away

Kitchen expansion and relocation improves efficiency and capacity

Meeting room expansion, enhancement and relocation provide improved guest experience

Topping Off Fact Sheet