World Choir Games organizers answer some tough questions

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The World Choir Games in Cincinnati are less than a month away and are expected to host 15,000 participants from more than 50 countries.

On Monday, Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory, City Manager Milton Dohoney and Dan Lincoln from the Cincinnati Visitors Bureau (CVB) held a press conference to discuss the city's role in preparing for the Choir Games. They talked about the boost it would give Cincinnati and the responsibility of "hosting the world."

A few speed bumps are ahead for the planning of the games, but organizers are working to smoothing everything out before July 4. One main concern is attendance. Organizers said 90,000 spectators are expected, including Cincinnati locals, but so far only 25,000 tickets have been sold.

Mayor Mallory said it was important for Cincinnati to put its best foot forward when hosting the world.

"I would not attempt to put a number on the value of making such a great presentation," said Mayor Mallory.

The City of Cincinnati Budget for 2011-12 allotted $561,580 for the preparation for the World Choir Games.

Lincoln says there are plenty of hotels ready to accommodate all of the visitors.

"We've got plenty of rooms throughout the region for our spectators and visitors," he said.

FOX19 called more than a dozen hotels in the area and found that all still had rooms available. One hotel downtown still had 76.

There were concerns that participants from some countries were having problems getting visas. Some worried if enough weren't able to travel to the U.S. to compete, it could put a snag in event plans.

Mayor Mallory ended the press conference abruptly when that question was asked, but afterward FOX19 spoke to Michael Perry, who is helping to organize the event. He said there weren't enough visa issues to prevent the choir games from running smoothly and was confident the World Choir Games would be a success.

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