FFA UPDATE: Indianapolis, Louisville ‘dead-even’

Indianapolis and Louisville are the sole finalists to host the National FFA convention from 2013 to 2019, the Indianapolis-based organization said this morning.

One-time frontrunners Minneapolis and Kansas City, Mo., have been eliminated from the competition.

“Right now, it’s a dead-even process,” said spokeswoman Julie Adams.

Indianapolis has hosted the gathering since 2006, and the swarms of students dressed in blue and gold jackets will return each fall through 2012.

Louisville hosted the convention from 1998 to 2005.

An FFA executive told IBJ after its most recent convention ended in October that it had attracted 53,618 members, advisers, industry representatives and government officials. FFA officials noted the figure fell slightly from 2006. Indianapolis’ higher hotel costs might be taking a toll, they said.

Adams said Indianapolis has a new convention center, hotels close to the meeting and a strong visitors association to work with.

Louisville hotels are more affordable. The city also has more space available due to an expansion of a fairgrounds facility and a new downtown arena.

A second round of site visits is planned in May and June, Adams said.

FFA is expected to make a decision in early November.

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