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Racing trade show not returning to Indianapolis

May 2, 2008

Performance Racing Industry, a trade show that drew 39,000 visitors when it last was hosted in Indianapolis in 2004, said today it won't return to the city, even after the Indiana Convention Center expansion is complete.

When backers were making the case for the convention center expansion, they regularly trotted out California-based PRI as an example of a trade show that left town but would return if Indianapolis' center had more space.

PRI officials signed a non-binding letter of intent in October 2004 saying they'd bring the show back in 2011 if the convention center were expanded.

But even when Indianapolis' $275 million addition is complete in 2010, it won't be big enough for the growing show. The show now needs more than 1 million square feet of exhibit space, and the expanded center will have only 750,000 square feet.

The show caters to manufacturers as well as racing retailers, engine builders and other industry professionals.

The loss is the second big blow for the convention center within a year. In July, the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association said it would not bring its fall show back to Indianapolis.

CEDIA leaders also had signed a letter of intent saying they would return the show to Indianapolis after moving on because of cramped quarters. In July, CEDIA officials switched course, saying the expanded center wouldn't meet the fall expo's needs, which are expected to exceed 1 million square feet in 2009.

CEDIA may bring its smaller spring show to the city in 2010.

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