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Secretary of Economic Development Cabinet replaces Jim Host; will oversee ‘continued robust success of nation’s best new arena’

FRANKFORT, Ky.  (June 4, 2012) – Less than a month after Jim Host resigned as chair of the Louisville Arena Authority, Governor Steve Beshear today appointed Larry Hayes, the current secretary of the Cabinet for Economic Development, as the new chair of the group.   Hayes has served on the Authority as vice-chair since its creation in 2005.

“The KFC Yum! Center would not have happened without Jim Host.  His work over the last seven years helped to create a world-class sports and entertainment facility that has attracted some of the world’s biggest touring acts and sports events,” said Gov. Beshear.  “Larry Hayes understands the critical importance of managing this facility efficiently and leveraging all its strengths to continue its success.  His work in our Cabinet for Economic Development dovetails with the skills required to keep the KFC Yum! Center as one of the country’s most exciting venues.”

Hayes will continue to serve as secretary of the Cabinet for Economic Development, a position he has held since 2008.  Before joining the Beshear administration, Hayes served as deputy mayor under former Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson.  He has owned or managed several private businesses, including a Lexington construction company and an Elizabethtown warehousing group.  Hayes also served in former Governor Martha Layne Collins’ administration as both secretary of the Executive Cabinet and state budget director. 

“I’m honored by the Governor’s appointment, and hope that with the assistance of the other Authority members, the transition will be seamless,” said Hayes.  “We will be working hard to maximize the use and efficiency of this spectacular arena to not only attract the world’s best events, but also to make sure that it meets all its financial expectations.”

The 15-member Arena Authority provides financial oversight of the downtown arena, while the Kentucky State Fair Board currently manages the facility’s day-to-day operations. 


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