Arts & Entertainment, etc. and Tourist Attractions and Conventions and Tourism & Hospitality

Indianapolis outpaces Cincinnati in many convention measures

June 1, 2009

Tourism and conventions drive a substantial part of Indianapolis' economy and underpin the city's downtown. In this Quick Hits look at a competing convention city, Cincinnati boasts more convention space, but Indianapolis draws more guests.

Convention center space

Indianapolis............................... 419,700 sq. ft.(1) Cincinnati .....................................750,000 sq. ft.

Hotel rooms metro area

Indianapolis.............................................. 30,210 Cincinnati .................................................25,000

Hotel rooms downtown

Indianapolis................................................ 5,478 Cincinnati ................................................... 3,200

Room nights (2008)

Indianapolis............................................658,000 Cincinnati ............................................... 187,887

Annual budget

Indianapolis.....................................$10.2 million Cincinnati ..........................................$5.8 million

Promotion staff

Indianapolis......................................................51 Cincinnati .........................................................25

Annual visitors

Indianapolis....................................... 21.9 million Cincinnati ............................................... 5 million

Downtown restaurants

Indianapolis................................................... 200 Cincinnati ...................................................... 154

Major conventions (2009)

Indianapolis: National FFA, Dealer Expo, Fire Department Instructors Conference, Gen Con, Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration, Music For All Bands of America Grand Nationals, Circle City Classic, Disciples of Christ General Assembly, Do It Best (twice annually), Drum Corps International World Championships

Cincinnati: USA Gymnastics, Educational Testing Service, United Auto Workers, U.S. Department of Education, National Association of Freewill Baptists, Gospel Music Workshop of America, State Wars Hockey, Youth Specialties

Major events (2009)

Indianapolis: Indianapolis 500, 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, NCAA Men's Basketball Midwest Regional, Big Ten Women's and Men's Basketball Tournaments, Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration, Indiana State Fair, NHRA Mac Tools U.S. National Drag Racing Championships, Red Bull Indianapolis GP, National Association of Professional Baseball Winter Meetings

Cincinnati: Flying Pig Marathon, MLB's Civil Rights Game, Macy's Music Festival, Taste of Cincinnati, Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, Cincy Cinco, Black Family Reunion, U.S. Gymnastics Junior Olympics

Major attractions

Indianapolis: White River State Park (Indianapolis Zoo, Indiana State Museum, NCAA Hall of Champions, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art), Central Canal, The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Conner Prairie, Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Cincinnati: National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Kings Island, Cincinnati Reds, Cincinnati Bengals, Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, Newport on the Levee Entertainment District and Newport Aquarium, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Newport Aquarium, BB Riverboats, Ride the Ducks, Cincinnati Cyclones Hockey

(1) includes Lucas Oil Stadium, 183,000 sq. ft.; does not include 328,000 sq. ft. of convention center expansion now under construction

Sources: Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association, Greater Cincinnati Convention & Visitors Bureau

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