Louisville to host NRA convention in 2016 - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville to host NRA convention in 2016

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- WDRB News has learned that Louisville will host the National Rifle Association's national convention in 2016.

In 2008, tens of thousands of people packed the Kentucky Fair and Expo Center for the NRA's national convention in Louisville.

"The National Rifle Association in 2008 brought about 60,000 people to the city," says Jim Wood, President & CEO of the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Some presidential candidates, like Republican John McCain, also attended and spoke at the event.

Now plans are already in the works for 2016, when members once again come back to the area.

NRA officials say last year in St. Louis the convention had a record-breaking year with 73,000 people in attendance. They're hoping to top that here in Louisville.

"We expect great turnout and great speakers and we're looking forward to being back in Louisville," says Stephanie Samford, an NRA spokeswoman.

Jim Wood, the President and CEO of the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau says there will now be more room for all the activities the NRA plans to hold.

"They'll be using the Kentucky Exposition Center for exhibits, trade show and they'll also be using the Yum! Center for a concert or speaking series as well," says Jim Wood.  

NRA officials say it will include visitors from across the country and world, once again drawing national attention and candidates to Louisville during a political year.

Bishop Dan Johnson, of Heart of Fire Church, is an NRA member.

"It's not our 2nd amendment wants. It's our 2nd amendment rights," says Bishop Dan Johnson.

He says recent gun rights rallies across the state helped seal the deal for this convention.

He says he's in talks with NRA representatives to help with the planning, on what he's guessing will be a huge event.

"There is a lot of interest. There's a lot of activity. There's a very large grassroots support here for the NRA, so really it was a no-brainer," says Bishop Dan Johnson.

The Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau estimates that more than 4,000 hotel rooms will be booked during the May 2016 convention.

They also estimate an economic impact of nearly $15 million dollars.

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