$50M Expo Center planned for NYS Fair

Aug 25, 2017

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this week that a new $50 million exposition center will be built at the New York State Fairgrounds near Syracuse - and work will happen quickly.

Construction could begin in November on the center, and during the State Fair’s opening day ceremony, Cuomo promised it will be finished by next year’s Fair. The state is now moving ahead with requests for proposals.

Howard Zemsky, head of Empire State Development, said at 133,000 square feet, the expo will be the biggest events venue between Boston and Cleveland and the largest north of New York City.

“The idea is to extend the commercial season down here, so we can do a lot more than just the fair, said Zemsky. “And if you think about the expo space and fairground buildings, there’s like 450,000 square feet.”

That means the ability to draw a certain kind of show.

“It’s really designed for things we do really well," said Patrick Hooker with the state Agriculture Department. “Things that require large equipment. Heavy equipment show, a horse show, the farm show we have here in winter.”

Right now, the plan is for the new expo center to be built on the western end of the fairgrounds, near the current midway.

“Although we’re looking at the midway today, in February we’re looking at parking, and it’s really going to be ideal," Hooker said. "The building will face the south, so you park and walk right in. The other strategic part about having it here is you can still have other events going on in the fairgrounds or you can have all the fairgrounds at one event.”