The Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center is formerly known as the Dallas Convention Center and named initially as Dallas Memorial Auditorium. This is a convention center that is located in the Convention Center District that is situated in downtown, Dallas. The convention center can hold up to 10,000 people, and George Dahl, a famous architect that was based in Dallas, designed the convention center. In this article, we are going to learn more about the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, its history and the notable events that happened there.
History of the Kai Bailey Hutchison Convention Center
This convention center was initially known as the Dallas Memorial Auditorium, and it was initially constructed near the intersection of Akard and Canton Streets in 1957. Even if the auditorium still hosts smaller events, its facilities and technology did not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and it kept it less busy compared to how it was in the past. That is why during the 1970s, the center was renovated and expanded, along with this, it was renamed to Dallas Convention Center. In 1984, the convention center was developed again and once more in 1994. In 2002, the most recent addition to the facility was completed, and it was renamed in honor of former US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.
Design of the Convention Center
The Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center is about 2,000,000 square ft. in size, and it has over 1,000,000 square ft. of exhibit space. The largest exhibit space is approximately 203,000 square feet big, and it is a column-free hall. That is why it is considered as the largest of its kind in the United States. This convention center is used for the Dallas Auto Show every year.
On the east side of the convention center, you will see the original element of the Dallas Memorial Auditorium, and it is a 9,186 seater arena. In this complex, you will also see 105 meeting rooms, a 1,740 seat theater, as well as two gigantic ballrooms. When it comes to accessibility, the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center has the world’s largest heliport and it sits on top of the structure. Not only that, but this convention center also has 75 truck berths line. In 2009, the people approved the construction of the Omni Dallas Convention Center Hotel, which is a 1,000 room hotel that is located close to the Convention Center.
Most Popular Tenants and Events at the Kai Bailey Hutchison Convention Center
The convention center was once home of the Texas Chaparrals/Dallas Chaparrals of the American Basketball Association. When the team moved to San Antonio, they were later renamed as the San Antonio Spurs.
In 1973, the famous pop band, known as the Jackson 5, performed in the auditorium of the convention center. In 1976, Elvis Presley performed at the Convention Center during the final week of his five-city tour. The following year, Led Zeppelin chose the Convention Center as the first venue of what would become their last ever American tour. After a year, the iconic British rock band Queen played at the Convention Center. In fact, the music video for their song “Fat Bottomed Girls” was shot at the Convention Center. The pop icon Prince performed two concerts here, one in 1981 and another in 2000.
Some of the famous artists that have held concerts at the venue include The Rolling Stones, James Brown, The Who, Madonna, The Beatles, Billy Joel, The Doors, Grateful Dead, Elvis Costello, Brice Springsteen, and David Bowie.
The Kai Bailey Hutchison Convention Center is not only a place for events and concerts, but it also became an emergency shelter for thousands of people that were affected by Hurricane Katrina back in September 2005.
In 2014, Fan Expo Dallas decided to hold their exhibits every year at the Kai Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. In 2016, the Convention Center became the location of the WWE WrestleMania Axxess convention.
From April 2021 up until 2024, the Kail Bailey Hutchison Convention Center will be the home of the annual VEX Robotics Competition World Championships.