History

Travel Through the Decades

Explore the most memorable moments in MATS 48 history.

1972

4,000 Attendees | 83 Exhibitors

The Mid-America Trucking Show began in the early 1970's, when a private management group was formed by Paul K. Young, to create the largest and most diversified trucking show in North America. The first show occupied a portion of the West Wing of the original Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center.

1984

20,000 Attendees | 270 Exhibitors

Over the course of the next decade, MATS showed steady growth; initially filling additional portions of the West Wing, but moving into the East Wing in the early 80s and adding the East Hall A then East Hall B by 1984.

1991

35,000 Attendees | 650 Exhibitors

With the completion of the new South Wing of the Kentucky Fair & Exposition Center in 1991, the Mid-America Trucking Show was able to meet what had become an overwhelming demand for space. Almost half a million square feet of space was taken up by 650 Exhibitors and more than 35,000 attendees, making it the heavy-duty event in the Western Hemisphere!

1994

50,000 Attendees | 829 Exhibitors

The next major phase in the growth of Mid-America occurred in 1994, when the South Wing Phase II expansion was completed and immediately filled by MATS Exhibitors. The expansion added 130,000 square feet of exhibit space and MATS also began offering outdoor exhibit space as part of the show.

1997

59,000 Attendees | 1,000 Exhibitors

The 1997 Mid-America Trucking Show once again expanded to meet the ever increasing demand by adding the West Wing of the KY Fair & Exposition Center. This put MATS over 1,000,000 square feet of exhibit space and marked the first time the show broke 1,000 exhibiting companies!

1999

75,000 Attendees | 1,092 Exhibitors

The demand for exhibit space at the 1999 MATS was strong enough that the Pavilion was added to its exhibit space offerings. Previously used as a food court area only, this addition helped address the growing need for additional exhibit space and helped the 1999 MATS accommodate 1,092 exhibiting companies.

2006

80,291 Attendees | 1,144 Exhibitors

In 2006, the South Wing C expansion was completed, adding 167,000 sq. ft. of Class A exhibit space. This additional space was quickly filled and helped the 2006 show to break all previous records for attendance, number of exhibiting companies, and total square footage.

2008

76,563 Attendees | 1,174 Exhibitors

In 2008, the East Wing of the Kentucky Exposition Center was completely demolished and the new North Wing was erected in its place. The newly renovated space helped MATS 2008 set the record for Exhibitor participation and demolished MATS’ exhibit space record by more than 50,000 sq. ft.

2011

76,169 Attendees | 1,039 Exhibitors

The 2011 show marked the 40th anniversary of the Mid-America Trucking Show. From its humble beginnings, MATS has grown into the top annual event for the heavy-duty trucking industry. More than 76,179 attendees and 1,039 exhibitors took part in the 3-day celebration.

2012

80,972 Attendees | 1,070 Exhibitors

The 2012 show marked the inaugural year for the MATS Fleet Forum, a conference for fleet executives and Heavy Duty/Commercial Vehicle industry VIPs, produced in conjunction with Fleet Owner & Heavy Duty Trucking Magazines. This new event helped MATS set a new attendance record with 80,972 attendees.

2015

81,768 Attendees | 1,064 Exhibitors

attendees, surpassing the previous record set in 2012. In addition, the show sold-out of exhibit space faster than any time in the last 15+ years and solidified its billing as "the three biggest days on the heavy-duty trucking calendar".