NCAA Stadium Showcase: KFC Yum! Center In Louisville

The KFC Yum! Center In Louisville Is A Unique College Basketball SettingThursday and Saturday, the South Regional of the 2016 Men’s NCAA Tournament is taking place at the KFC Yum! Center in downtown Louisville. This six-year-old venue represents one of the most interesting concepts in all of college basketball.

Since 2010, the Louisville Cardinals’ men’s and women’s basketball programs, as well as the school’s women’s volleyball program have called the state-of-the-art arena home. The basketball teams previously took the court at Freedom Hall, located two miles south of campus. The men played in the historic venue from 1956-2010, with the women doing so from 1975-2010.

What makes the KFC Yum! Center so unique is the combination of primary college tenants and an off campus, downtown area setting. 

Sitting three miles straight north of the university, on the banks of the Ohio River, the arena very much takes on the look and feel of a professional facility. In a sense, this complex has allowed the Louisville programs to become the city’s professional teams, when factoring in arena location and quality, combined with the school’s local popularity. This is far from the typical on campus geography of the vast majority of college hoops venues.

Opened in 2010, the 22,000-seat KFC Yum! Center features 71 luxury suites, 62 premium boxes, 4 club lounges, 4 donor rooms, as well as a restaurant, sports bar and Cardinal Authentic Store, built in conjunction with Adidas.

Underneath the stands, the building boasts of home team locker, training and coaches’ facilities, a practice court, five additional locker rooms, two officials’ locker rooms and a performer’s dressing room. During the month of April alone, Garth Brooks and Justin Bieber are among the non-sporting events scheduled to take place in the arena.

Built at a cost of $238 million, the KFC Yum! Center has provided the Louisville metro area and its 1.3 million people with a first class stadium, capable of housing its beloved Cardinals, while also serving as the region's premiere entertainment venue. 

For those wondering, the building’s title sponsor is Louisville based Yum! Brands, which operates KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and WingStreet.