Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center

Coordinates: 32°46′28″N 96°48′05″W / 32.7745799°N 96.801484°W / 32.7745799; -96.801484

The Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center (KBHCCD) (formerly Dallas Convention Center) is a convention center in the Convention Center District of downtown Dallas, Texas.

Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center
A view of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center from the GeO-Deck of Reunion Tower in Dallas, Texas (United States).
Aerial view of the complex (c.2015)
Address650 S Griffin St
Dallas, TX 75202-5005
LocationConvention Center District
OwnerCity of Dallas
OpenedJanuary 1973
  • 1984
  • 1994
  • 2002
  • 2011
Former names
Dallas Convention Center (1973-2013)
Meeting-room seating
Theatre seating
1,730 (Burton Center for the Arts)
9,294 (Convention Center Arena)
Enclosed space
 • Total space2,000,000 sq ft (190,000 m2)
 • Exhibit hall floor724,526 sq ft (67,310.7 m2)
 • Breakout/meeting98,947 sq ft (9,192.5 m2)
 • Ballroom93,008 sq ft (8,640.7 m2)
Official Website

The "Dallas Memorial Auditorium" was a standalone multipurpose arena, designed by George Dahl in 1957. Dahl was responsible for the renowned Art Deco buildings at the Dallas Fair Park, as well as many other Texas landmarks. The Convention Center additions were designed by Larry Oltmanns, who was a Design Partner with Skidmore, Owings and Merrill at the time.


One of the main entrances to the convention center, 2018

The center is over 2,000,000 sq ft (190,000 m2) in size and contains over 1,000,000 sq ft (93,000 m2) of exhibit space. The largest contiguous exhibit space in the structure is 726,726 sq ft (67,515 m2). A 203,000 sq ft (18,900 m2) column-free exhibit hall is the largest of its kind in the United States.[1] It is annually used for the Dallas Auto Show.[2]

The east side of the structure contains the original element of the Dallas Memorial Auditorium, a 9,816-seat arena. The complex also houses a 1,740-seat theater, 105 meeting rooms, and two gigantic ballrooms. In terms of accessibility, the world's largest heliport/vertiport sits atop the structure and 75 truck berths line its docks.[2] The Dallas CBD Vertiport, located at the south end of the complex, has two 60 ft × 60 ft (18 m × 18 m) concrete helipads[3] and 169,000 sq ft (15,700 m2) of flight deck, and is capable of handling tiltrotor aircraft.[4]

In May 2009, voters approved the construction of the Omni Dallas Convention Center Hotel, a 1,000 room hotel that is attached to the Convention Center. It opened in late 2011, under budget and ahead of schedule.[5]


The Dallas Memorial Auditorium was originally constructed in 1957 near the intersection of Canton and Akard Streets. While the auditorium still hosts many smaller events, its antiquated facilities and technology, along with the fact that it is not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, have kept it less busy than in the past.[6] In 1973, the center was expanded and renamed the Dallas Convention Center; the expansion was designed by local architects Omniplan. The center was expanded again in 1984 and once more in 1994,[7] when Dallas Area Rapid Transit constructed the Convention Center Station underneath the west-wing of the facility, connecting it to the Red and Blue light rail lines. The most-recent addition to the facility was completed in 2002.[7] The complex was renamed in honor of former US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison in 2013.[8]

Notable tenants and eventsEdit

The venue was once home of the Dallas Chaparrals/Texas Chaparrals of the American Basketball Association, who played in Dallas from the 1967-68 season through the 1972-73 season. The team moved to San Antonio in 1973 and became the San Antonio Spurs.[9]

On August 22, 1973, The Jackson 5 held a concert in the auditorium.[6] While on a five city tour in the final week of 1976, Elvis Presley performed at the Dallas Convention Center on December 28. The concert was recorded and later released on the Follow That Dream collectors label with the title of Showtime! On April 1, 1977, Led Zeppelin opened what would become their last American tour together in the Dallas Memorial Auditorium, their sixth time performing at the venue.[6] In October 1978, Queen played at the Convention Center during their US tour, and the music video for "Fat Bottomed Girls" was filmed at the center.[10] Prince had two concerts at the venue: once in 1981 and again in 2000.[6] Other performers who held concerts here include: Madonna, James Brown, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Grateful Dead, Black Sabbath, Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, Billy Joel, Kansas, Thin Lizzy, and Elvis Costello.[6]

The Dallas Convention Center was the site of the 1984 Republican National Convention. President Ronald Reagan accepted the nomination for a second term there on Aug. 23, 1984.[11] This was his speech.[12]

Together with Reunion Arena, the center was an emergency shelter for thousands of Hurricane Katrina refugees in September 2005.[citation needed]

Beginning in 2014, the center became the venue for Fan Expo Dallas.[13]

From March 31 to April 3, 2016, WWE hosted the WrestleMania Axxess convention at the center, as part of the lead-up to WrestleMania 32 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. As part of the event, it also hosted NXT TakeOver: Dallas on April 1.[14]

On August 17, 2019, Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, addressed l Non-resident Indians.[15]

Starting in April 2021 and running through April 2024 the annual VEX Robotics Competition World Championships will return to the center. The VEX Robotics World Championship had been previously hosted at the center in 2009 and 2010.

External linksEdit


  1. ^ "Top Ten U.S. Convention Centers". www.businessreviewusa.com. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Dallas Convention Center - Facility Overview Archived August 30, 2006, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on August 29, 2006.
  3. ^ FAA Airport Form 5010 for 49T PDF. Federal Aviation Administration. Effective April 26, 2018.
  4. ^ "Dallas Executive Airport - Dallas CBD Heliport/Vertiport". Dallas Executive Airport. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  5. ^ "Checking In (And Checking Out) the Omni Dallas Hotel - D Magazine". D Magazine. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d e Wilonsky, Robert. "Dallas' Memorial Auditorium was good enough for the Beatles, JFK and Led Zeppelin, so why not us?". Archived from the original on July 6, 2016. Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  7. ^ a b Dallas Convention Center - History Archived September 1, 2006, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on August 29, 2006.
  8. ^ Austin, BJ. "Dallas Convention Center Named For Ex-Sen. Hutchison". Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  9. ^ "Remember the ABA: Dallas Chaparrals". www.remembertheaba.com.
  10. ^ Queen Promo Videos - Fat Bottomed Girls Ultimate Queen. Retrieved September 4, 2011
  11. ^ https://www.reaganlibrary.gov/research/speeches/82384f
  12. ^ https://www.c-span.org/video/?4057-1/president-reagan-1984-acceptance-speech
  13. ^ New, Brian (May 18, 2014). "Record-Breaking Attendance Recorded At Dallas Comic Con". CBS DFW. CBS Corporation. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  14. ^ "WrestleMania Fever Hits North Texas". NBCDFW.com. Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  15. ^ Rao, Chandrasekhar (August 11, 2019). "అమెరికాలో వైఎస్ జగన్ మేనియా: ముఖ్యమంత్రి పేరు మీద వెలిసిన హోర్డింగులు". telugu.oneindia.com (in Telugu). Retrieved August 11, 2019.