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For Immediate Release


A former professional football player, the United States Golf Association, a home-run derby, educational sessions and trade show vendors all will play a role during the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation (OTF) Conference and Show at the SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center from December 4-6.

“We’ve expanded the show floor by 20 percent and just filled our last booth space today,” said OTF Associate Director Amanda Zedrick. “There are great Wednesday sessions for our membership and there is a lot of excitement about this year’s show.”

The keynote address, “Living with a Passion,” will be presented by former Ohio State Buckeye and National Football League player Chris Spielman at 1:45 p.m. December 5 on the main stage. Now an analyst for ESPN and a radio personality on 97.1 The Fan locally, Spielman is also well known for his advocacy in the fight against breast cancer, which claimed the life of his wife, Stefanie, in 2009.

Attendees will be able to combine the fun of a home-run derby with support of an industry affiliated cause with the debut of the Wiffle Ball Field presented by John Deere Golf on the trade show floor. A $5 contribution to the Ohio Turfgrass Research Trust (OTRT) will give participants a chance to swing for prizes during selected hours of the trade show.

Trade show hours are December 4 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. December 5.

Educational tracks include golf turf management, lawn & landscape, sports & grounds, general pest management, Ohio Department of Agriculture testing and special sessions including the Lawn and Landscape Symposium, Sports & Grounds Assembly and Ohio Golf Summit.

From its inaugural conference in 1967, the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation Conference and Show has evolved into the nation’s largest regional turfgrass-specific event. OTF has awarded more than $4.5 million to turfgrass research and student scholarships in Ohio since it was founded in 1961.

“This comprehensive event features nearly 100 hours of education and more than 100 exhibitors,” said SMG Regional General Manager Craig M. Liston.

The Greater Columbus Convention Center, located in downtown Columbus, hosted an estimated 2.5 million visitors in 2011. The facility is owned by the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority and is managed by SMG.

Founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to more than 220 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theatres, performing arts centers, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 14.4 million square feet of exhibition space and over 1.75 million sports and entertainment seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming, construction and design consulting, and pre-opening services for such landmark facilities as McCormick Place and Soldier Field in Chicago, Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston’s Reliant Park and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Visit and for more information.
Jennifer B. Davis
Marketing & Communications Manager
Greater Columbus Convention Center
(614) 827-2538