Columbus Considers Vying For Olympics, Convention - NBC4: Columbus, Ohio News, Weather, and Sports (WCMH-TV)

Columbus Considers Vying For Olympics, National Convention

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This weekend marks the 25th Arnold Classic, which draws people from around the world for the athletic convention whose namesake is Arnold Schwarzenegger.
City leaders also think Columbus has what it takes to draw in larger events such as the Olympics and a national political convention.
Scott Peacock with Experience Columbus said his organization is working with others to see if Columbus could possibly host either the Republican or Democratic National Conventions in 2016.
According to Peacock, city leaders considered bidding for a 2012 political convention but after researching, realized Columbus did not have enough hotel rooms. However with the opening of the Hilton hotel downtown last fall, that is no longer an issue.
"[The Hilton has] 532 rooms, 32 of which are suites. When you look at an RNC or DNC bid they want to have first class full service hotel rooms and they really need those suites to have the ability to have additional meeting space outside of the convention floor itself," Peacock said.
The U.S. Olympic Committee has also asked Columbus to submit what it could offer as a host city for the 2024 Olympics. Columbus was one of about 30 other cities asked to do so, but the only city in Ohio.
Linda Logan is Executive Director of the Greater Columbus Sports Commission. Logan said that while Columbus would need to improve its transportation and increase the number of international flights to the airport, it also offers some of the best athletic facilities in the world, which gives the city an edge.
"We have such a diverse mix of facilities. Berliner Park is the largest softball complex in the world. So again there's something for everybody. We're not just a one sport city. That's what makes us so strong," Logan said.
According to Logan, it would be two or three years before Columbus knows if it will progress to the next stage with the USOC.

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