Past performance at hosting excellent conventions was rewarded today when the National FFA, headquartered in Indianapolis, announced it will enter a rotation between Indianapolis and Louisville once the current contract with Indianapolis expires.
That means the National FFA Convention will be held in Indianapolis through 2012, as part of a continuing contract between the National FFA and the city. Today's announcement clarifies what happens with one of the largest conventions held annually in the U.S. after 2012.
National FFA President Paul Moya helped announce the plans in Indianapolis today. "The city of Indianapolis has extended its very best brand of Hoosier Hospitality to our organization and members," Moya said. "This host city arrangement will allow our future members to take part in the Indianapolis convention experience during their high school years."
The agreement unveiled today calls for Louisville and Indianapolis to share hosting duties for the October convention, which draws some 50,000 youth and adults each year. It's also the focus of numerous national finals competition for various FFA contests, both in judging and leadership categories. The two Midwestern cities will share hosting duties on a 3-year rotation.
Louisville was the first city to host the National FFA Convention besides Kansas City. The Convention moved from Louisville to Indianapolis. It will return to Louisville for the years 2013 through 2015. Then the convention comes back to Indianapolis for 2016 through 2018.
The years 2019 through 2021 will be hosted in Louisville. Then under the agreement, Indianapolis has the first right of option for the years 2022-2024.
Greg Ballard, Republican mayor of Indianapolis, hailed the announcement as great news, even though it will rotate between Louisville and Indianapolis after 2012. Some insiders aware of today's planned announcement had suspected the convention would stay in Indianapolis permanently. Still, Ballard was upbeat.
"It's great news to learn that Indianapolis has once again been selected to host the National FFA Convention," he said. "The positive impact of this event, and these outstanding young people, on our city is undeniable. Indianapolis haws much to offer FFA members, advisors and guests, from new downtown hotels to world-class sporting events, arts and entertainment.
Don Welsh, president of the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association, commented on the Louisville connection. "We understand and respect the decision to put Louisville in the mix," he said. "It is a great city and destination in close proximity to Indianapolis. We know it was a great host city for FFA prior to coming to Indianapolis. We look forward to continue working with National FFA leadership and our local partners on ways to provide an exceptional experience for these young men and women."