Does end of Old Cardinal Stadium at fairgrounds mark beginning of something new?

By Ed Green
P3KY Editor

The new executive overseeing the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville said this week that Old Cardinal Stadium should be demolished early next year, but leaders have not yet said what will replace it.

Appearing before the Kentucky Agriculture Development Board this week, Kentucky Venues CEO David Beck said demolition of the stadium – declared unsafe for fans in 2013 – should occur around the first of the year. Kentucky Venues is the operating name for the Kentucky State Fair Board, which oversees the state fairgrounds at Kentucky Expo Center as well the recently expanded Kentucky International Convention Center in downtown Louisville.

According to WDRB, Beck told lawmakers that the timing for demolition is important.

“You can imagine it will be disruptive on the property – and we’re trying not to interfere with some of the existing shows that are planned in those days,” Beck told the station. “So we’re trying to coordinate that so it can be less disruption to other activities there, but get it down as soon as we possibly can.”

WAVE-TV reports that the cost of the demo will be about $6 million, citing Dr. Mark Lynn, the chairman of the Kentucky State Fair Board.

So the real question is, what will take its place?

In May, P3 Kentucky reported that the state issued a broad proposal seeking input from potential private-sector partners interested in participating in a public-private partnership development at an 88-acre site that included Cardinal Stadium as well as 45 acres near the main entrance of KEC.

The state has yet to release details about responses to the proposal, which were submitted in mid-June.

Lynn told WAVE-TV that there are a number of options being considered for changes at the center.

“We’ve been working on this a long time,” he said. “It’s finally coming to fruition for the first time. I can actually sit here, and I can really see the light at the end of the tunnel. Before, we had a lot of flickers going off and some starburst every now and then, but now it’s there.”

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