The Marine Corps Marathon headquarters will move out of Washington, D.C., for the first time next year after organizers were not "feeling the love" from the city agency that runs the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
The Washington Business Journal reported that the marathon’s exposition will move to National Harbor in Prince George’s County in 2016 after fluctuating between the convention center and the D.C. Armory for years. Both the convention center and the armory are run by Events DC.
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The 2015 Marine Corps Marathon headquarters were located at the convention center, but Events DC was going to push it to the armory next year because of a conflict.
"Obviously we’d love to accommodate every customer on their dates, particularly this one. This is a signature event that we love to have," Events D.C. president and CEO Greg O’Dell said. "But this is the biggest time of the year for conventions, particularly October, when we are booking pretty large conventions, including medical shows, which are the highest economic impact shows for our building."
According to Marine Corps Marathon director Rick Nealis, the decision was made primarily because of the uncertainty of the location. Nealis also said that the convention center banned sponsors from handing out free food or drinks at the exposition, which caused the event to lose out on tens of thousands of dollars.
Nealis said he "wasn’t feeling the love" from Events DC.
According to NBC Washington, Events DC argued that the marathon did not draw enough people to stay in hotel rooms in the city. Between the Marine Corps Marathon and the accompanying 10K race, the event has over 30,000 finishers each year.
The exposition is a two-day fair for health and fitness where runners also sign up and receive their racing numbers. The headquarters will be located at National Harbor’s Gaylord National Resort and Conference Center for at least the next two years.