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City of Knoxville launches re-branding of the former convention center at World’s Fair Park
$2.1 million investment will provide much-needed improvements to the facility.
Get ready to welcome the World’s Fair Exhibition Hall! That is the new name chosen for the City of Knoxville-owned venue formerly known as the Knoxville Convention and Exhibition Center (KCEC). The exhibition hall, which faces the World’s Fair Park Festival Lawn, was originally built for the 1982 World’s Fair, where it housed the Technology and Lifestyle Center. After the Fair the KCEC served convention goers and hosted events until the new Knoxville Convention Center (KCC) was built in 2002.
SMG, the country’s leading entertainment and venue management company, manages both the KCC and KCEC, and has worked diligently with Visit Knoxville to grow convention and sports bookings. As bookings have increased at KCC, the need for more event space has become pressing. The KCEC has been used as overflow space but needs improvements. In this year’s City budget, Mayor Madeline Rogero and City Council approved $2.1 million for KCEC updates including the HV/AC unit, roof, and remodeled bathrooms. Comprised of three halls, the building boasts a total of 66,396 square feet and will be a great asset for future event business.
Along with these necessary updates, the KCEC is being rebranded as World’s Fair Exhibition Hall. The new logo, designed by Visit Knoxville, features the iconic flame symbol of the 1982 World’s Fair as well as the colors of the international flags in blocks that are reminiscent of another memorable image of the Fair: the Rubik’s Cube. Visit Knoxville, SMG and the City of Knoxville thank local businessman and World’s Fair aficionado Chris Ford for permission to incorporate the 1982 World’s Fair logo into the design.
World’s Fair Exhibition Hall will continue to be managed by SMG Knoxville who also manages three other city-owned facilities—the Knoxville Convention Center, Knoxville Civic Auditorium-Coliseum, and Chilhowee Park & Exposition Center.
Celebrating its 40th anniversary and founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to more than 230 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theaters, performing arts centers, amphitheaters, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 15 million square feet of exhibition space and more than 1.5 million sports and entertainment seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming; construction and design consulting; and pre-opening services for such landmark facilities as McCormick Place & Soldier Field in Chicago, Moscone Convention Center in
San Francisco, Houston’s NRG Park and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. SMG also offers food and beverage operations through its concessions and catering companies, currently serving more than 140 accounts worldwide. For more information, visit www.smgworld.com.
About Visit Knoxville
Visit Knoxville (Knoxville Convention and Visitors Bureau) is the official CVB for the City of Knoxville and Knox County. Visit Knoxville is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, private company that works together with the community, business leaders and local and state government to further develop Knoxville as a premier leisure, meetings and travel destination.
Avi Elyse McCullah