Democrats eye 15 cities for 2016 convention - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Democrats eye 15 cities for 2016 convention

Updated:
file photo from 2008 DNC in Denver file photo from 2008 DNC in Denver
INDIANAPOLIS - Indianapolis is one of 15 cities asked to submit proposals to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Just because Indianapolis is on that list doesn't mean the city is actively pursuing the 2016 convention; they have simply been asked to submit a host city bid. It is certainly an honor to be considered but it is also expensive.

"It will provide a lot of jobs, put Indianapolis on the map and, for five or six days, every media outlet would be reporting from here," former State Democratic Party Chairman Robin Winston said.

The estimated $60 million price tag to host means the city would have to raise a lot of money in order to pull it off.

"The price tag to fund either one of these conventions is in Super Bowl range in terms of community support. We are not ready to commit to either one. We already have a lot of great business on the books in 2016," said Chris Gahl, Vice President of "Visit Indy."

Indianapolis already has a couple of Final Fours on the schedule and a potential Super Bowl bid in 2018 still a very real possibility. The convention center expansion, hotel construction and a solid reputation for putting on big events in a big way certainly has made Indianapolis an attractive convention location.

"I would think it's highly unlikely 'Visit Indy' looked at this closely. Given the private money that needs to be raised, the convention space and hotel space that is already in the city and considering the time frame both parties wanted, I would not bet on either at this point," remarked Marc Lotter, Mayor Greg Ballard's communications director.

It appears the city prefers to stay with the sports foundation that has proven so successful rather than dabbling in politics.

Chicago, New York, Miami, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Pittsburgh are just of the few of the others in the hunt.

Marion County Democratic Chair Joel Miller issued this statement on Mayor Greg Ballard’s refusal to submit a bid for the convention:

“Today’s move by Mayor Ballard is shameful, disrespectful and blatantly political. Indianapolis was specifically invited by the Democratic National Committee to submit a bid to host a political convention that reaps financial rewards for the city and global exposure in a Presidential Election year. Next month, our city is holding one of the largest single-day sporting events in the world. We have hosted the Super Bowl and are in the running for another. We have hosted Final Four tournaments and major stock car races. The excuse that we don’t have enough hotel space and private funding to attract a political convention is simply ludicrous. Mayor Ballard was willing to ask ‘Kate and William’ – the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – to a cricket tournament at his boondoogle of a cricket stadium on the eastside. He is willing to host the NRA’s convention later this week in Indianapolis. But, he is not willing to host Democrats, including the current President of the United States, in our city.”

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