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Why Indianapolis?

Dec 7, 2009, 5:35 PM EDT

ESPN’s Keith Law has a great piece up today on why the Winter Meetings are being held in a city that doesn’t even have a Major League team.  The short answer: the tail wags the dog. Minor League Baseball sets up all of this stuff to accommodate its trade show and job fair and Major League Baseball just tags along.  This leads to trouble when you get to cities with limited hotel room and meeting space and cold weather.

The fact that baseball struggles with this is curious. I mean, yeah, this requires a lot of room and stuff, but it can’t compare to, say, political conventions in terms of media coverage, can it? There can’t possibly be a need for as many hotel rooms either.  Any number of cities that aren’t Las Vegas should be able to handle this. A convention center + lots of hotel rooms is really all you need, right?

I’ll be honest and say that there have only been two issues in Indianapolis so far: (a) the wi-fi  sucks in the media room; and (b) it’s cold.  The former definitely needs addressing — thank God I hadn’t yet canceled the Verizon air card I used while clandestinely blogging at work, because it’s been a godsend. The latter: only the California guys are still complaining about the cold. The rest of us have manned up.

But regardless of whether Indianapolis is truly unworkable, I think Keith’s prescription is a good one: decouple the Major League meetings from the Minor League meetings and rotate them among a few cities that have a track record of being able to handle the meetings with aplomb.  Indianapolis seems to be working so far, but why gamble every year?

  1. Ken Arneson - Dec 7, 2009 at 6:14 PM

    Tell the California guys it snowed in Oakland today. If they were home, they’d still be cold.

  2. smsetnor - Dec 7, 2009 at 7:00 PM

    Indy is a good and growing city. It’s not as big as it thinks it is, but it’s improving. I’ll actually be up there later this week and hope to be able to check out some of the meetings stuff.

  3. HaloFan - Dec 7, 2009 at 7:08 PM

    I’ve worked with the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association many times before; they’re outstanding. Indy is consistently ranked in the top 5 of preferred convention destinations (despite the ‘cold weather’ label). They have one of the best convention centers in all of the US, and have hotel capacity not rivaled by many much larger downtown areas. They also play host to the NFL combine every year. They’re actually VERY well equipped for these kinds of things.
    The cold weather gripe is pathetic. As far as I can tell, none of the meetings are held outdoors.
    Keith Law is talking out of his ass.

  4. tomapo - Dec 7, 2009 at 7:35 PM


  5. Jamie - Dec 8, 2009 at 11:19 AM

    Congratulations on your new job as head of the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce! Hope the relocation doesn’t interfere with your ability to follow the Angels.

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