Conference Moves Downtown - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Conference Moves Downtown

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ALEXANDRIA, La. - For 17 years, the Steubenville South Catholic Youth Conference is held at the Rapides Parish Coliseum. But next year, things are going to look different. NewsChannel Five's Natalie North explains.

The 18th annual conference was held this past weekend and a big announcement was made at the end of the conference: that next year, it will leave its home for the last 17 years at the Rapides Coliseum and head to downtown Alexandria.

"This is not a decision that was made last week, we have been working on this for a year," said Father José Sanchez.

Sanchez said he believes that having more venues closer to each other is a good reason to move the conference from the Coliseum to the Riverfront Center and Coughlin Saunders.

"I really believe that it is a lot safer to move in that area, than have to transport people by bus and cars," Sanchez said.

More walking and less traveling by bus, Sanchez says it is not only safer, but will leave more time for the conference.

"Now, we can save more time by walking from one place to another," Sanchez said.

But will the move hurt the Coliseum, after the conference has called it their home for 17 years?

"Financially, we will not suffer a great loss from Steubenville, here at the Coliseum. What we will suffer from is the actuality of losing the event, because it is something we have taken pride in hosting the event every year," said Kimberly Neal.

Sanchez says they are grateful for the Coliseum giving their conference a home for all these years, but feels the downtown area will be a better fit, at least for right now.

"If God blessed us and gives us a conference of 7,000 or 5,000 people, we do not mind going back to the Coliseum," Sanchez said.

Steubenville South Catholic Youth Conference will be held in downtown Alexandria, beginning next year.

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