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Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association Announces New Board Members December 15, 2008

Posted by ICVA Communications in ICVA Business.
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INDIANAPOLIS – Following its recent annual board meeting, the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association (ICVA) has announced the election of new board members and its slate of officers for 2009.

“We are delighted to have such an exceptional group of people joining us in our commitment to making Indianapolis one of the country’s premier conventions, meetings and tourism destinations,” said ICVA Board Chair Jerry Semler.

New to the ICVA board are:

  • Tanya Bell, president and CEO, Indiana Black Expo;
  • Pete Ward, senior executive vice president, Indianapolis Colts;
  • Nick Weber, deputy mayor, City of Indianapolis.

Officers for 2009 are:

  • Chair, Jerry D. Semler, American United Mutual Insurance Holding Company;
  • First Vice Chair, Michael G. Browning, Browning Investments, Inc.;
  • Second Vice Chair, Thomas W. Jernstedt, National Collegiate Athletic Association;
  • Secretary, Ellen R. Saul, Maribeth Smith & Associates;
  • Treasurer, William G. Mays, Mays Chemical Company, Inc.;
  • President & CEO, Donald P. Welsh, ICVA.

Re-elected to the board are:

  • Gerald L. Bepko, Indiana University/IUPUI; 
  • Anton H. “Tony” George, Indianapolis Motor Speedway; 
  • William Shrewsberry, Shrewsberry Associates;
  • Fay H.  Williams, attorney;
  • Donald P. Welsh, ICVA.

New ex-officio board members are:

  • Greg Charleston, Arts Council of Indianapolis;
  • Roland Dorson, Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce;
  • Susan Williams, Indiana Sports Corporation;
  • Phil Ray, Omni Severin, Greater Indianapolis Hotel  & Lodging Association.

The mission of the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association is to advance Indianapolis tourism and economic growth.  The ICVA seeks to increase the number of visitors and their financial impact, expand positive perception of Indianapolis and positively influence the visitor experience.  According to a Global Insight report, in partnership with D.K. Shifflet & Associates, 21.9 million visitors annually provide $3.56 billion in total annual economic impact of tourism on the Indianapolis economy resulting in 66,621 full-time equivalent employment positions in the hospitality industry.

The National FFA Convention Will Return to Indianapolis December 15, 2008

Posted by ICVA Communications in Conventions & Meetings, ICVA Business.
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INDIANAPOLIS – The National FFA Organization announced today that its annual convention will be returning to Indianapolis, and the event will rotate between Louisville and Indianapolis for the foreseeable future.

Starting in 2013, the city will share hosting duties with Louisville on a three-year rotational basis. Louisville will host the convention 2013 through 2015. The convention will return to Indianapolis for the years 2016 through 2018. After a return engagement with Louisville, Indianapolis will then be given the first right of option for the years 2022-2024.

“It’s great news to learn that Indianapolis has once again been selected to host the national FFA convention,” said Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard.  “The positive impact of this event, and these outstanding young people, on our city is undeniable.  Indianapolis has much to offer FFA members, advisors and guests, from new downtown hotels to world-class sporting events, arts and entertainment.”

National FFA President Paul Moya was jubilant as well.  “The city of Indianapolis has extended its very best brand of Hoosier Hospitality to our organization and its members,” said Moya.  “This host city arrangement will allow all our future members to take part in the Indianapolis convention experience during their high school years.”

“We are elated to continue to be the host of the national FFA convention through 2012 and beyond. It’s the biggest and one of our most important city-wide conventions,” said Don Welsh, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association. “We understand and respect the decision to put Louisville in the mix. 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 continuing working with National FFA leadership and our local partners on ways to provide an exceptional experience for these outstanding young men and women.”

The annual national FFA convention, which is currently contracted to Indianapolis through 2012, hosts more than 54,000 high school-aged FFA members from across the country.  The return of this prestigious event—the nation’s largest annual youth gathering—will bring Indianapolis estimated annual revenue exceeding $40 million.

At this morning’s announcement, FFA representatives presented Indianapolis officials with commemorative blue corduroy banners showcasing the FFA emblem and the years the city will host the annual national FFA convention. 

The National FFA Organization, formerly known as the Future Farmers of America, is a national youth organization of 507,763 student members – all preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture – as part of 7,439 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The National FFA Organization changed to its present name in 1988, in recognition of the growth and diversity of agriculture and agricultural education. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Visit www.ffa.org for more information.

Eiteljorg Museum Acquires Multi-Million-Dollar Art Collection December 15, 2008

Posted by ICVA Communications in Arts, Arts/Culture & Attractions, Culture & Attractions.
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Indianapolis – The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art is proud to announce the gift of the Helen Cox Kersting Collection of Southwestern Cultural Arts, a multi-million-dollar collection of nearly 800 objects, including the best of Southwestern pottery, jewelry and other objects. The collection will be the basis of a forthcoming book and an exhibition in 2010.
 
“It is difficult to overstate the significance of this collection to the field of Native American art and specifically to the Eiteljorg Museum. The Helen Cox Kersting Collection is profoundly important to both,” says John Vanausdall, president and CEO, Eiteljorg Museum. “This stunning group of objects will expand the breadth and depth of the Eiteljorg’s holdings of Southwest materials to a dramatic degree and will enrich the museum visitor’s experience for generations to come. We are grateful for Helen’s generosity, and her trust in the Eiteljorg Museum to be the steward of her life’s work and passion.”
 
Helen Cox Kersting and her collection:
 
Helen Kersting is a native of Belleville, Illinois and a graduate of the Millikin University School of Music (Decatur, Illinois) and attended the Juilliard School of Music (New York City) debuting with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Leonard Bernstein. A mezzo soprano, she went to the Cologne, Germany Opera on a four-year contract, met and married Dr. Hans Joachim Kersting and resided in Cologne until her husband’s death in 1999.
 
Kersting is a devoted collector of the best of Southwestern pottery, jewelry, weavings, baskets and other Native American objects. She began collecting as a child, on travels to the American West with her parents.  Throughout her life, she has developed knowledge and a strong sense of connoisseurship
 
The Kersting jewelry collection of over 300 items includes belts, boxes, rings, bracelets, necklaces, pins, earrings, bolo ties, hair pins and cufflinks. There are pieces older than the use of artist signatures or hallmarks whose origins are still being researched. Zuni examples by master artists Leo Poblano, Leekya, John Gordon Leak and Dan Simplicio are notable. Many of these examples came originally from the historical collection of trader C. G. Wallace. Among the great jewelers represented in the collection are Charles Loloma, Carl Clark, Vernon Haskie, Denise Wallace,  and many others. Elegant silver and turquoise examples abound and there are many high art pieces in silver and gold with opal, coral, diamonds, and other materials.
              
Kersting has been very focused in the creation of her pottery collection of nearly 400 items. A number of prehistoric coiled jars came from her parent’s acquisitions of the 1920s and 1930s, along with quite a few baskets. Historic period San Ildefonso, Santa Clara, Zuni, Zia, Santo Domingo, Cochiti and Maricopa pieces ad significantly to the Eiteljorg collection. While the Eiteljorg has a few pots by Maria Martinez of San Ildefonso, the Kersting collection includes an expansive grouping of Maria’s work in different forms and colors, several with her potter son Popovi Da. Kersting has systematically collected the work of extended families of potters and the list of major pieces reads like a blue book of Southwestern potters. Included are Sarafina, Nampeyo of Hano, Paqua Najo, Gloria Kahe, Les Namingha, Rainy Naja, Dora TsePe, Mary Cain, Margaret Tafoya, Tammy Garcia, Autumn Borts, Daisy Hooey Nampeyo, Steve Lucas, Sharon Naranjo Garcia, Joy Navasie, Jacob Koopee, Helen Cordero, Virgil and Inez Ortiz, Desideria, Tonita Roybal, Susan Folwell, Grace Medicine Flower, Nathan Youngblood, Nancy Youngblood, Roxanne Swentzell, Rondina Huma, Tony Da, Jody Naranjo, Carmelita and Carlos Dunlap and many others.
              
Kersting, who currently lives in Arizona, says, “I have pursued my search for the final custodianship of my cherished Native American collection for a couple of years. The objects always meant very much to my late husband and me. I’d like to tell you of the extraordinary generosity of my German engineer, in whose memory I gift this collection, of his willingness to fly to the US almost every vacation, of spending large sums of money for the acquisition of things originally outside his European and even technical sphere. It is no wonder this intimacy of collecting-devotion earns a special future where it can demonstrate it character and content and be a learning tool of Native Art history for years to come. Simply, I felt and feel all of my hopes could be fulfilled by the Eiteljorg with its vigorous ‘young museum’ mentality.”
 
The acquisition of the Kersting collection represents a watershed moment as the Eiteljorg Museum celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2009 and looks toward the future.
 
Says James Nottage, Eiteljorg Museum vice president and chief curatorial officer, “What makes the Kersting collection so valuable and unique is “that it demonstrates both tradition and innovation in Southwestern native arts by providing important examples from multiple generations of individual families of artists. Through their magnificent work we gain better understanding of how their tribal cultures have survived and thrived.”
 
President John Vanausdall adds, “With acquisition of the Kersting Collection, the museum will devote more energy to collecting and interpreting traditional contemporary arts of Native North America. Through artist in residence programs and our annual Indian Market and Festival, we are bringing living traditions to the museum. As a result of Helen Kersting’s generosity, we can present objects that bear testimony to on-going and developing traditions.”
 
The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art seeks to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the art, history and cultures of the American West and the indigenous peoples of North America. The museum, which opened in 1989, is located in Downtown Indianapolis’ White River State Park. For general information about the museum and to learn more about exhibits and events, call (317) 636-WEST (9378) or visit www.eiteljorg.org.

Future Men’s Final Four Sites Announced November 20, 2008

Posted by ICVA Communications in Events, Uncategorized.
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INDIANAPOLIS – A process that Division I Men’s Basketball Committee Chair and Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive indicated was as grueling and competitive as selecting teams for the men’s basketball championship concluded Wednesday with the announcement of the following host cities for the 2012-16 Men’s Final Fours:

March 31/April 2, 2012
New Orleans, LA
Louisiana Superdome
 
April 6/8, 2013
Atlanta, GA
Georgia Dome
 
April 5/7, 2014
North Texas (Arlington/ Dallas/ Fort Worth)
Cowboys Stadium
 
April 4/6, 2015
Indianapolis, IN
Lucas Oil Stadium
 
April 2/4, 2016
Houston, TX
Reliant Stadium

NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee Selects Women’s Final Four Sites for the Years 2012-16 November 14, 2008

Posted by ICVA Communications in Events, Expansion & New Development, ICVA Business.
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INDIANAPOLIS – The NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee has chosen five future Women’s Final Four sites for the years 2012-2016.  The Women’s Final Four sites are:

            2012 – Denver.  Mountain West Conference, host.
            2013 – New Orleans. University of New Orleans, host.
            2014 – Nashville.  Ohio Valley Conference, host.
            2015 – Tampa Bay.  University of South Florida, host.
            2016 – Indianapolis. Butler University, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and Horizon League, hosts.

“The women’s basketball committee invested a tremendous amount of time and effort in the Women’s Final Four site selection process,” said Jacki Silar, chair of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee and associate director of athletics at Duke University.  “It was a very difficult and important decision and it was the committee’s charge to determine which of the cities would best serve as future host sites for the pinnacle of women’s basketball – the Women’s Final Four.”

After submitting an intent-to-bid form last November, representatives of 12 cities attended a pre-bid seminar in January, and they met with NCAA staff for individual planning and progress updates in April and again in June.  After selecting eight finalist cities in August, women’s basketball committee members made site visits to each finalist city in September and October 2008.  Following the site visits to each prospective city, representatives of the bid committee made final presentations to the committee on Nov. 11-12 in Indianapolis.

“The committee appreciated the work and effort of each of the cities that participated in this bid selection process,” Silar said.  “Committee members evaluated each prospective host city based on many criteria, weighing each element’s importance and what is critical to successfully host a Women’s Final Four.”

When evaluating prospective host cities, the committee reviewed each city’s competition venue, convention center, hotel community, transportation plans, legacy programs and financial commitment, as well as the community’s and prospective host institution/conference’s overall commitment to the event.

“This is an exciting time for the game of collegiate women’s basketball and this was evident by the number and quality of cities that participated in the bid process as prospective 2012-16 Women’s Final Four hosts,” said NCAA President Myles Brand.  “Congratulations to the five cities selected as these cities represent the future for this great event.   In 2016, the NCAA will celebrate the 35th anniversary season of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship.  With cities such as Denver, New Orleans, Nashville, Tampa Bay and Indianapolis serving as future hosts, we believe the Women’s Final Four will continue its growth as a marquee event and continue to be the ultimate experience for our student-athletes.”

The cities selected represent a blend of cities with past Women’s Final Four hosting experience in Indianapolis (2005), New Orleans (1991, 2004) and Tampa Bay (2008), while Denver and Nashville will be hosting the event for the first time.

“We would like to express our appreciation to the prospective host cities and bid committees that participated in the bid process for the 2012-16 Women’s Final Four,” said NCAA Executive Vice President Tom Jernstedt.  “The time, effort and enthusiasm in each of their bids were noteworthy and because of this kind of commitment and engagement, the Women’s Final Four will continue to be the outstanding ‘celebration’ of women’s basketball that it has become.  This was a difficult decision by the Division I Women’s Basketball Committee, and I applaud their efforts in determining the five cities that will serve as the future host cities for the pinnacle event in women’s basketball.”
 
The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletic opportunities for more than 400,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 54,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA championships in Divisions I, II and III sports. Visit www.ncaa.org and www.ncaa.com for more details about the Association, its goals and members and corporate partnerships that help support programs for student-athletes.

Media Contact: Rick Nixon, Associate Director of Division I Women’s Basketball Championship, 317-917-6539

Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association Announces Staff Changes October 30, 2008

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INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association has announced a number of staff changes as it prepares for increased sales and marketing of the city in keeping with the expansion of the Indiana Convention Center, opening of Lucas Oil Stadium, new hotels and cultural growth.

“We have a tremendous group of professionals at the ICVA,” said president and CEO Don Welsh. “With these team changes, ICVA is made stronger to meet the increased expectations of our constituents and to take Indianapolis to the next level of tourism growth.”
 
The changes include:

  • James Wallis has been promoted to senior vice president of finance, administration and technology. He was vice president of finance, administration and technology. 
  • Susie Townsend has been promoted to vice president of services. She was the director of convention services and meetings team.
  • Mary Huggard has been named vice president of strategic partnerships & development. She was vice president of marketing and communications.
  • Matt Carter has been named vice president of music, arts & culture and executive director of Music Crossroads.  He was vice president of strategic development.
  • Bill Benner has been named director of special projects. He was associate director of communications.
  • Patty Creech has been named cultural tourism manager. She was leisure marketing manager.

Earlier it was announced that Warren Wilkinson has been named senior vice president of marketing & communications for ICVA.

The mission of the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association is to advance Indianapolis tourism and economic growth.  The ICVA seeks to increase the number of visitors and their financial impact, expand positive perception of Indianapolis and positively influence the visitor experience.  According to a Global Insight report, in partnership with D.K. Shiffllet & Associates, 21.9 million visitors annually provide $3.56 billion in total annual economic impact of tourism on the Indianapolis economy resulting in 66,621 full-time equivalent employment positions in the hospitality industry.

Media Contact: Bob Schultz, 317-639-4772, bschultz@indianapolis.org

National Travel and Tourism Professional to Lead Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association’s Marketing Republic Airways’ Warren Wilkinson to Start at ICVA on October 31 October 2, 2008

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INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association (ICVA) has named Warren R. Wilkinson as its new Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications.  Wilkinson has served as the Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications for locally based Republic Airways Holdings since 2001.  He will move into the ICVA’s chief marketing position that has been held by Mary K. Huggard since 1994.  Huggard is becoming the ICVA’s Vice President of Partnership and Development, a newly created ICVA position.  Both positions are effective October 31, 2008.
  
“We are incredibly fortunate to have secured the type of national and international marketing talent embodied by Warren,” said ICVA President & CEO Don Welsh.  “His extensive experience in tourism marketing, branding and communications will enable ICVA to focus our message and expand our reach as America’s premier convention and sports destination.” 

“I am very pleased to be joining the ICVA during one of the most exciting periods in our city’s history.  Indianapolis continues to develop an exceptional array of facilities and attractions for both convention and leisure visitors,” said Warren Wilkinson.  “I look forward to working with the ICVA team to leverage these assets to enhance the reputation and national awareness of our great city as a meetings and tourism destination.”

A veteran of 27 years in corporate marketing and communications, Wilkinson comes to the ICVA with an extensive resume from the airline industry, where he was responsible for directing the marketing and corporate communications efforts for the second largest regional airline company in the world.  In addition, Wilkinson managed the successful brand integration of the company’s three operating subsidiaries with five major airlines partners. 

“For the past seven years, Warren has led our marketing and communications efforts with exceptional vision and creativity,” said Bryan Bedford, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Republic Airways.   “Our loss is definitely ICVA’s gain.  I’m confident his passion and commitment will take our city to even greater heights.” 

Prior to joining Republic Airways, Wilkinson served as Deputy General Manager and Senior Vice President of Edelman Public Relations Worldwide’s Atlanta office heading the corporate practice.   Prior to joining Edelman, Wilkinson held senior marketing and communications positions for several regional airlines. 

Wilkinson currently serves on the board of the Indiana Repertory Theatre and the Purdue University School of Aviation Technology Advisory Board.  He is also a member of the ICVA Board of Directors. 

ICVA Board Chairman Jerry Semler added, “Along with Don Welsh’s arrival two months ago, the hiring of Warren is yet another example of our efforts to build and sustain a high performance team of experienced professionals in order to better market and sell Indianapolis’ growing list of outstanding tourism assets.”    
    
The mission of the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association is to advance Indianapolis tourism and economic growth.  The ICVA seeks to increase the number of visitors and their financial impact, expand positive perception of Indianapolis and positively influence the visitor experience.  According to a Global Insight report, in partnership with D.K. Shiffllet & Associates, 21.9 million visitors annually provide $3.56 billion in total annual economic impact of tourism on the Indianapolis economy resulting in 66,621 full-time equivalent employment positions in the hospitality industry.

Airport Authority Approves Lower Daily Parking Fee at New Garage September 19, 2008

Posted by ICVA Communications in Expansion & New Development.
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INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Airport Authority Board set parking fees for the new Indianapolis Airport at its meeting today, including a daily rate for the new garage that is $6 lower than the rate at the present garage and free parking at the “cell phone” parking lot at the new airport.

At the current airport garage, the maximum daily fee is $22. For the new garage, located adjacent to the new Col. H. Weir Cook Terminal, the maximum daily fee will be $16.

“We want our visitors to talk about how much they enjoyed the experience of our new airport,” Authority Board President Randall L. Tobias said. “And we want to encourage them to use our new garage.”

The parking rates for the new airport, set to open for incoming flights on the evening of Nov. 11 and for all flights on Nov. 12, were part of the Board’s annual schedule of rates and charges adopted at its Friday meeting.

The new airport, located at Exit 68 on I-70, just west of I-465 in Indianapolis, will have a parking garage that can accommodate 5,900 private cars and 1,200 rental cars. The long-term and economy surface lots located just west of the garage will have space for 11,000 cars. Shuttle buses will carry travelers from the surface lots to the new terminal.

The new airport also will feature a free “cell phone” lot, where drivers can wait for calls from travelers, then drive to the terminal to pick them up.

The full schedule of parking fees adopted by the Authority Board is as follows:

Parking garage: Each half-hour: $2.00; maximum each 24 hours: $16.00
Long-term lot: Each 24-hour period: $11.00
Economy lot: Each 24-hour period: $7

The new parking garage will have moving walkways on its main floor, as well as 10 elevators and eight escalators. The garage also will include the Ground Transportation Center, which will contain rental car agencies, limousine, shuttle and other transportation services.

Contact: David Dawson, (317) 752-0873; Susan Sullivan, (317) 487-2025

500 Festival receives 12 awards from the International Festival & Events Association September 16, 2008

Posted by ICVA Communications in Arts/Culture & Attractions, Events.
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INDIANAPOLIS – The 500 Festival announced today it earned 12 industry honors from the International Festival & Events Association (IFEA).  The awards were distributed this past Wednesday during the IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards Ceremony held at the IFEA’s 53rd Annual Convention in Boise, Idaho. 

“This is a great achievement for our entire organization and all of our constituents, to be recognized by industry peers,” said Kirk Hendrix, President and CEO, 500 Festival. “This also serves as motivation as we get ready for our 53rd season of producing world-class events and programs for our community.”

Each year, the IFEA recognizes outstanding examples of quality and creativity in the promotional programs and materials produced by its 2,400 member festivals and events around the world. Over 1,400 entries were submitted this year from the world’s top festivals and events. The 500 Festival received the following honors:

Gold Pinnacle Award:

  • Best Event Invitation: Regions 500 Festival Snakepit Ball, presented by Cindy and Paul Skjodt (Designed in cooperation with Williams Randall Marketing Communications)

Silver Pinnacle Awards:

  • Best Full Length National TV Program: 2008 IPL 500 Festival Parade on ESPN2 (Produced in cooperation with IMS Productions)
  • Best Radio Promotion:  2008 IPL 500 Festival Parade (Produced in cooperation with Cumulus Radio)
  • Best Sponsor: Marsh Super Markets; Associate Sponsor of the 500 Festival Volunteer Program and OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and  presenting sponsor of the 2008 500 Festival Mini-Marinarathon
  • Best Other Merchandise: OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Finishers Medal

 Bronze Pinnacle Awards:

  • Best Volunteer Program: 500 Festival Volunteer Program 
  • Best Organizational Website: www.500festival.com 
  • Best Event/Organization E-Newsletter – OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Newsletter 
  • Best Miscellaneous Printed Materials: Regions 500 Festival Snakepit Ball, presented by Cindy and Paul Skjodt, Guest Goodie Box (Designed in cooperation with Williams Randall Marketing Communications) 
  • Best Media Relations Campaign: 2008 500 Festival “Fuel the Dream” campaign 
  • Best Pin or Button (by an event): American Family Insurance 500 Festival Community Day Pin (Produced in cooperation with Indianapolis Motor Speedway)    
  • Best Promotion Publicizing an IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Award Win: Promotion of 2007 Best Volunteer Program win

“We would like to congratulate all of our Pinnacle winners for their outstanding entries into this year’s competition,” said IFEA President & CEO, Steven Wood Schmader, CFEE.  “The IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards represents the hallmark of excellence in the festivals and events industry.  Entries in every budget category, from every corner of the globe, allow us to recognize the best in our business while raising the standards and quality of media promotions and events across the board.”

Winning entries came from organizations as diverse as Walt Disney Company, FL;  The Pasadena Tournament of Roses, OR; Portland Rose Festival, OR; Greeley Independence Stampede, CO; Hawaii Tourism Authority, HI; The Kentucky Derby Festival, Louisville, KY; Memphis in May, Memphis, TN.  International contenders included such diverse event organizations as International Festival Lent, Slovenia; Ottawa Bluesfest, Canada; The Hague Festivals, The Netherlands and the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.   Entries included posters, merchandise, websites, print and broadcast ads, volunteer programs, community outreach programs, and many other categories.

Headquartered in Boise, Idaho, The International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA) is a non-profit membership organization with members spanning 40 countries and 5 continents, and offers the most complete source of ideas, resources, information, education and networking for festival and event professionals worldwide. Visit the IFEA website at www.ifea.com for additional details.

Contact: Brandi Davis-Handy
(317) 614-6128
bdavishandy@500festival.com
www.500festival.com

RCA Dome Roof Deflation Scheduled for Sept. 24 September 15, 2008

Posted by ICVA Communications in Conventions & Meetings, Expansion & New Development, ICVA Business.
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INDIANAPOLIS – The skyline of downtown Indianapolis will be noticeably altered when the RCA Dome fabric roof is deflated on Wednesday, September 24 at 10:30 a.m., according to the Indiana Stadium and Convention Building Authority (ISCBA).  The deflation, which is expected to last 30 to 45 minutes, will consist of turning off the large fans creating pressure that keeps the roof inflated.

The roof deflation is the next step toward the removal of the Dome, which paves the way for construction of a $275 million major expansion of the Indiana Convention Center – a structure that will be attached to the new Lucas Oil Stadium by an enclosed pedestrian connector.
 
In a brief ceremony, former Mayor Bill Hudnut — during whose administration the Dome was constructed — will flip a switch to turn off the large fans.  The ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. on the north steps of Lucas Oil Stadium.  It will include various individuals who have been associated with the Dome over the years, sharing memories as the roof slowly descends.
 
When completed in the late fall of 2010, the expanded Convention Center — combined with the new Stadium space – will increase the amount of exhibition, meeting room, ballroom and pre-function space from about 725,000 square feet to more than 1.2 million square feet.  That includes 253,100 square feet of exhibition space and 63,000 square feet of meeting room space.
 
Walls and ceilings that don’t comprise the Dome’s structural frame are currently being demolished and removed, as are salvage and memorabilia items.  About half of the Dome will be dismantled with traditional demolition methods and the remaining upper level seating areas will be imploded, which is scheduled to occur in December.

According to the construction manager, a joint venture of Shiel Sexton/Powers and Sons, the project is on schedule, including the construction of new meeting rooms at the northwest corner of the existing Convention Center.
 
The Dome’s eight-acre roof consists of two layers of fabric supported by a series of cables and fans.  The facility had a maximum seating capacity of 60,500 permanent seats (57,965 for football), but could be configured for more than that number for NCAA Final Four games and other special events.
 
For 24 years, the Dome provided extraordinary and invaluable service to Indianapolis and Indiana.  It was the home for the Indianapolis Colts, hosted numerous national and international conventions, trade shows and church assemblies, and served as the site for IHSAA high school and NCAA college football and basketball championships.  It hosted presidential speeches, countless concerts and other major and recurring events.
 
For example, on July 9, 1984, the Dome set a new world attendance record for an indoor basketball game – 67,596 fans — when the U.S. Olympic basketball team played an exhibition against a team of NBA All-Stars.  In addition to the Colts and IHSAA and NCAA championships, recurring events included the Bands of America Grand Nationals, Circle City Classic, Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration and Supercross.  
 
Originally called the Hoosier Dome when it was opened in May 1984, the facility was renamed the RCA Dome in 1994 when Thomson Consumer Electronics, a division of RCA, paid $10 million for naming rights over 10 years.

When the expansion is complete, the Capital Improvement Board of Managers (CIB) will manage the Convention Center, as it does Lucas Oil Stadium.  The ISCBA is the state agency responsible for financing, designing and constructing both the Convention Center expansion and the new Stadium.

Contact: David Sease or Lou Gerig, 317-634-1171