by Lisa A. Grimaldi | August 23, 2018
The new $63 million Expo Center was unveiled yesterday at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse during the kick-off of the 2018 Great New York State Fair. The facility has 110,000 square feet of exhibit space, as well as 4,000 retractable seats, and is expected to attract year-round events such as car, boat and RV shows, pet expos, consumer and trade shows, home and garden shows, and tech expos that previously were unable to come to the area due to the lack of exhibit space. The Expo Center increases the amount of available indoor space on the Fairgrounds to more than 450,000 square feet.

"The new Exposition Center is a welcome addition to the Fairgrounds that will not only help bolster State Fair attendance, but provide an event space capable of hosting a record number of visitors year-round," said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during yesterday's ribbon-cutting ceremony. "By boosting tourism and attracting businesses from across the country, the uniquely situated Expo Center will deliver lasting economic benefits to keep Central New York rising for generations to come."

"The new Expo Center continues the revitalization of the fairgrounds, improving the fair experience and attracting more visitors to our Great New York State Fair," remarked New York Lieutenant Gov. Kathy Hochul. "The Expo Center's opening today creates a new space to host events and shows capable of holding a record number of people. The new center will continue to build local communities and grow the economy of Central New York."

Among events booked at the Expo Center through 2018:
Taste NY Fall Festival, Oct. 12-13, which will bring together vendors from across the state to sell locally produced and manufactured food and beverages, highlighting local and regional cuisines and showcasing the diversity of the state. The festival will feature pumpkin patches and pumpkin carving, amusement rides and farm petting zoos.
HITS Indoor Championships, Oct. 24-28, is a competition for junior and amateur horse riders at the beginning and intermediate levels.
• FlyFast Drone Racing Competition and Showcase, Nov. 10-11, will have races, drone-flying lessons for first-time pilots, and workshops and clinics for developing drone operators and racers.