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EB0841-001Fifteen cities, including Indianapolis, were asked to bid on whether they could host the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Besides Indianapolis, Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Las Vegas, Miami, Nashville, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh and Salt Lake City were asked to review a Request for Proposals and submit bid in June. But in a series of confusing statements, Indianapolis chief office for soliciting convention business, Visit Indy, indicated that Indianapolis was seriously examining making a bid.  But Mayor Greg Ballard’s Communications Director Marc Lotter threw cold water on Indianapolis bidding for any national political convention. Said Lotter, “The fact that both the RNC and DNC contacted Indy as a potential site for their national conventions is a tribute to Indy’s great reputation as one of the top convention cities in the nation. Visit Indy closely examined these bid possibilities. Given our previously scheduled major events such as the NCAA Men’s Final Four in 2015, NCAA Women’s Final Four in 2016, 2016 Olympic trials and other conventions; it is highly unlikely Indy could provide the space and private funds needed to host either major party national convention in 2016.” Earlier Visit Indy’s Vice-President Marketing & Communications Chris Gahl said “”It would be an honor for Indianapolis to showcase all that we have to offer to tens of thousands of guests and media outlets around the world. I hope we can move forward with this bid so more visitors can find out what we already know: Indy is an amazing place to live, work and raise a family.” Confused? So were top Indiana Democrats. After Mayor Ballard’s apparent nixing of Indianapolis participating in bidding for a political convention, Marion County Democratic Party Chair Joel Miller said, ““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. The excuse that we don’t have enough hotel space and private funding to attract a political convention is simply ludicrous.’ in 2012, the Democratic Convention in Charlotte generated $163 million in direct economic activity for that city and region. The 32,000 attendees included 13,000 media representatives from around the world. In an exclusive in-depth interview on Afternoons with Amos Visit Indy’s Chris Gahl seemed to talk in inconsistencies.  EB0834-001On the one hand Gahl said that the city had plenty of hotel rooms to accommodate the expected 34 to 38-thousand persons a Democratic National Convention would bring. Telling Amos that “75-thouand will be here for the National Rifle Association Convention.” But then on the other hand Gahl said the city probably couldn’t handle the 2016 DNC because “we already have some 18 events booked” during the 8 to 10 weeks the Indiana Convention Center, Lucas Oil Stadium and key downtown hotels would be devoted to preparation of DNC activities and set-up.  In 1998, Indianapolis was one of three finalists for the 2000 Republican national Convention.  A strong bipartisan group had been assembled by Mayor Steve Goldsmith and Gov. Frank O’Bannon to push for the convention to be held here.  Indy officials were bitterly disappointed when Philadelphia was chosen for the convention that nominated George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Many of the cities now being considered by the Democrats for 2016 would have the same problem as Indianapolis moving already scheduled conventions and meetings. In 1998, that wasn’t an issue as city and state officials had notified conventions and meetings that they might be moved in the event Indianapolis were the GOP’s choice for 2000. Click the Arrow to Hear Visit Indy’s spokesman seeming twisting and turning explanations over why Indianapolis can’t handle one of the world’s most prestigious convention events. Runs 18 Minutes ©2014 WTLC/Radio One.