Indy not likely to bid on 2016 political conventions

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It’s a major event for both political parties.

Every four years each party nominates their candidate for President – and for an entire week the host city is in the national spotlight.

So why doesn’t Indy plan on going after the convention in 2016?

“We don’t believe it’s going to be in the community’s best interest,” said Chris Gahl, vice president of marketing and communication for Visit Indy, the city’s convention and visitors bureau.

Just this week, Indianapolis was reportedly one of 15 cities invited to bid on the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

But already local officials have been saying it’s not likely the city will make a bid, and that has some local Democrats angry.

“I’m shocked that the Mayor would discount this offhand,” said Joel Miller, party chair for the Marion County Democrats. “It absolutely comes down to politics. Greg Ballard does not want the DNC in Indianapolis.”

Still, the mayor’s spokesman says that’s absurd, since they recently said ‘no’ to bidding on the Republican National Convention.

“For either of the political conventions, the amount of money required plus the amount of space, doesn’t seem like it would add up for 2016,” said Ballard spokesman Marc Lotter.

Plus, officials say they already have a number of conventions booked for 2016, during that same time frame.

“We already have convention business on the books for 2016, falling over the dates the DNC would need,” said Gahl.

“The second major reason is $50-$60 million in financial contributions that would need to be raised.”

That’s twice as much as they had to raise for the Super Bowl. But local Democrats say officials should also be thinking about the potential payoff.

“I would be completely surprised if any other convention offering $160million impact would be discounted so quickly without consideration,” said Miller. “They would find a way to make it happen, or they would find a way to completely consider all the options before they say no.”

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