(PHOENIX, AZ) - Today, the nation’s oldest civil rights group, the National Rifle Association (NRA), announced it would hold its 138th Annual Meetings and Exhibits at the Greater Phoenix Convention Center on May 15-17, 2009, in Phoenix, Arizona.
In a press conference held at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix, NRA President and Arizona resident, Sandy Froman, told reporters, "Today, I am thrilled to announce that the NRA Site Selection Committee has chosen Phoenix to be the host city of the 2009 NRA Annual Meetings. We look forward to hosting 55,000 to 65,000 NRA members, hunters and gun owners in my beloved home state of Arizona." Joining Ms. Froman at the press conference were NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, Arizona State Senate President Ken Bennett, Arizona House Speaker James Weiers and other local dignitaries.
She continued, "I told my fellow committee members that while Phoenix is well-known for our warm weather, we are indeed a very cool city…and I’m glad they listened. I am confident that our new Phoenix Convention Center will have the latest technology and services, making the facility both efficient and user-friendly."
Wayne LaPierre added, "After nearly 15 years, we’re pleased to return to this great city to celebrate freedom and our 138th Annual Meetings and Exhibits, and we look forward to utilizing the excellent new convention center."
In his remarks, Mayor Phil Gordon said, "We’re pleased to welcome the National Rifle Association to Phoenix in 2009. When we undertook the $600 million expansion of the Phoenix Convention Center, it was with this type of opportunity in mind. The NRA conference is a valued and highly-sought piece of convention business and we are proud of the choice the Association has made for its 2009 meeting." He added, "With our venue expansion and our elevation into North America’s list of Top-20 convention centers, we are excited to host the NRA and its 55,000 - 65,000 members."
The $600 million Greater Phoenix Convention Center expansion project is due to be complete and open for business in January of 2009. Next May, Phase One of the expansion will debut 158,000 square feet of new meeting and exhibit space, including a 21,000-sq.-ft. conference center on the second level. In 2009, a total of more than 900,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space will be available at the center.
LaPierre concluded, "Our staff has worked with the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau and I would like to thank them for their enthusiasm and excitement to host NRA’s 2009 Annual Meetings & Exhibits. With this fantastic location, our meeting in Phoenix promises to be one of our best events yet."Year Host City/State2000 Charlotte, NC
2001 Kansas City, MO
2002 Reno, NV
2003 Orlando, FL
2004 Pittsburgh, PA
2005 Houston, TX
2006 Milwaukee, WI
2007 St. Louis, MO
2008 Louisville, KY
2009 Phoenix, AZ
** NRA held its 1995 Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Phoenix, AZ.
Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group. Four million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and to advocate enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the armed services.