Saturday, September 19, 2015

More Details on Expansion, Renovation at State Fairgrounds

Here is a more detailed story about renovations coming to the New York State Fairgrounds:

From the governor’s office:

Andrew Cuomo recently unveiled a sweeping $50 million redesign plan to transform the New York State Fairgrounds in Onondaga County into a year-round, premier multi-use facility that can attract more events and visitors from across the nation.

The plan includes a new multi-purpose exposition center with 110,000 square feet of flexible space, an expanded festival stage to bring in larger concerts, a larger Midway to accommodate more attractions and a 400-site RV Park, as well as various parking and pedestrian safety improvements.

The plan includes:


The existing grandstand, which was originally constructed in 1972, is outdated and not designed to function as an outdoor concert venue, and is not equipped to meet the needs of modern acts.

Additionally, with the opening of Onondaga County’s Lakeview Amphitheater in close proximity to the fairgrounds, the region will already have a premier, state-of-the-art venue capable of hosting large concerts.

The motor track is used only once per year for the annual Super DIRT Week. Like the grandstand, removing the motor track will also create room for crucial enhancements and modern facilities that can be used for a wider variety of events, year-round.

Removal of both the grandstand and the motor track is projected to cost $3 million.


The new Expo Center will be about 110,000 square feet, adding much-needed space that allows current shows to expand and new shows to be added in the future.
In addition to new concert and event space, the Expo Center will house new equestrian facilities. 


The construction of a larger, state-of-the-art stage will strengthen the fair’s longstanding reputation as a leader among free, quality music festivals. The new stage and roofing system will be built to modern standards and offer the capacity for larger production shows with video walls, lighting and sound. 

Safety and security enhancements include a full camera system, electronic access controls, fencing, gates and proper parking locations for tour buses and production vehicles.

Additional seating will be added to increase audience capacity by 20 percent, to a total of more than 30,000.

Completion of the new Chevy Court Festival Stage is expected in July of 2016 at a construction cost of $4 million.


Under the plan, the Midway will be expanded from 12.5 acres to nearly 16 acres and reoriented as the epicenter of the fairgrounds. 

During non-fair times, the new Midway will also allow for more organized parking for events, a much larger space for outdoor shows as well as an expanded camping area that will enable the Fairgrounds to continue hosting large rallies and camping shows.

Completion of the Midway enhancement is expected in July of 2016 at a construction cost of $2.5 million.


The front gate will be visually pleasing, with new streetscapes, seating, shade and other visitor amenities.

Additional improvements will allow for the creation of the “NY Experience” – a functional, park-like area that will highlight the past and future of New York state from perspectives that include its economic, cultural and historical significance. 

The NY Experience will be a living area designed to showcase facets of the Empire State each day during the Fair, such as through demonstration plots of New York specialty crops.

Completion of these improvements is expected in July of 2016, at a construction cost of $7.7 million.


The plan includes the creation of a new, 400-site RV Park. This will include full camper hook-ups with 50/30/20 amp electric options, the infrastructure to support communications/fiber, water and sewer connections, as well as bathrooms and showers. 

Security improvements include a full camera system and a blue light system in select locations.

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