Syracuse, NY According to governor Andrew Cuomo, the new Exposition Center at the New York State Fairgrounds reached a milestone as the final piece of structural steel to be installed was placed in the roof of the building. When the Expo Center opens for the 2018 Great New York State Fair, the 136,000 s/f structure will be one of the largest indoor event spaces north of New York City between Boston and Cleveland. This new facility, along with the ongoing renovation of the Fair’s Orange parking lot, marks the second phase of the governor’s $120 million plan to revitalize the State Fair and Fairgrounds and complements Central NY Rising, the region’s strategy to grow the local economy.
A joint venture between Hueber-Breuer Construction and The Pike Co. are the builders for the project.
“This marks a significant milestone in the construction of the Fairgrounds’ Expo Center, an investment that will deliver real economic benefits to the people of Central New York,” governor Cuomo said. “Upon completion, this project will not only help to boost State Fair attendance to record numbers, but will also enhance all that the region has to offer with a year-round event space that will attract visitors and businesses from across the nation.”
The Expo Center, with 110,000 s/f of clear-span event space, will have the capacity to hold more than 500 10 ft. by 10 ft. trade show booths and 4,000 retractable seats. The building will join the Fairgrounds’ existing portfolio of event space, such as the Toyota Coliseum and the Center of Progress Building, increasing the amount of available indoor space on the grounds to more than 450,000 s/f. Construction of the facility is expected to create more than 700 jobs.
Since the beginning of renovations, State Fair attendance has grown by more than 28% and non-Fair event estimated attendance has grown 57% from 2016 to 2017.
This flexible event space will attract major shows and special events, including car, boat, and RV shows, pet expos, consumer and trade shows, home and garden shows, tech expos and other events that were previously unable to come to upstate New York due to lack of suitable space.
Under the first phase of Governor Cuomo’s revitalization plan, the Fairgrounds were transformed to include 63 acres of newly opened space to accommodate a full-service RV park for 313 campers, a reconfigured and larger Midway area that serves as on-site parking or event space outside of the Fair, and open space for Fair programming, non-Fair events, and for construction of the Exposition Center. A new Main Gate entrance was also built, along with a new exhibit area for the New York State Police and the Sky Ride, a 1,400-ft. long chairlift ride. The Indian Village also received renovations for its Turtle Mound, the home of cultural performances during the Fair.
Acting State Fair director Troy Waffner said, “The Fair and Fairgrounds have truly been revitalized by the governor’s investments. Our year-round operation has risen significant since the beginning of the renovations here and we are now poised for explosive growth. It’s an exciting time and we plan to take full advantage of it in order to create greater economic benefits for the people of the region.”