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INDIANAPOLIS–The NRA convention is over. But, it’s not the last big one in Indy this year by a long shot. Several more conventions are planned that are expected to bring more money to Indianapolis and Indiana, and at least one may be just as important politically.

“Twenty-five years ago, the city hosted the National Urban League, based out of Washington, D.C., with a strong New York presence,” said Chris Gahl, senior vice president of Visit Indy. “Now 25 years later we were able to invite back and will host this summer, the National Urban League.”

The National Urban League will bring together thought leaders from the African-American community across the country. The conference typically addresses inclusivity and civil rights.

“Many candidates for president will be attending and speaking. So, within a couple of months of each other you have the National Rifle Assoc., and the president speaking, and then you’ll have the National Urban League and presidential candidates speaking.”

Gahl said Visit Indy worked with the local chapter of the Urban League to get the attention of the national group to come back after a quarter of a century.

“That’s a big deal for tourism because it continues to make Indianapolis relevant. It continues to shine a spotlight on us as a community and bring really high-profile people to our community to talk about big issues and big opportunities.”


Gahl said the NRA convention was fifth as far as money it brought in.

The Performance Racing Industry Trade Show is bringing in $65 million, GenCon is bringing $56 million, the USA Volleyball Girls Junior National Championships, which will happen this summer, brings in $42 million. The National FFA will bring in $39 million. The NRA brought in about $35 million.

“This helps grow tourism, but also helps grow the brand and the cache of the city,” said Gahl.

PHOTO: Chris Davis/Emmis