They did have it in Louisville one year, right? It was before my time, but I assume the people on the coasts (who I believe are a majority of the people who attend) didn't love it. It does suggest though that while it's probably reasonable to work on the assumption that it'll be Baltimore or LA going forward, they aren't completely wedded to the idea of it being one of those two venues forever and always in the future.
Yes, it had been several other places prior to the current Baltimore <--> LA run. I won't speak for those involved, but as someone familiar with conferences and organization, it is very difficult to make the appropriate arrangements at new venues year after year, and especially without a sufficient number of 'on the ground' people at said location. By repeating use at proven venues the wheel does not have to get re-created each and every year, and there's less room for things to fall through the cracks.
It does suggest though that while it's probably reasonable to work on the assumption that it'll be Baltimore or LA going forward, they aren't completely wedded to the idea of it being one of those two venues forever and always in the future.
I agree it does not have to be on a coast, but stand by my earlier point about the advantages of repetition. One issue for the coasts though, may be the higher density and concentrations of competitors. Not saying that should trump all other considerations, but it certainly seems like a reasonable and significant factor.
As someone on the team that works on Nationals, it is SOOOOO much easier when you're dealing with venues you know and have a relationship with. When it comes to planning, setup and even an easy working relationship with the staff, it's so much better to use the same venue(s).
We've been working on a cycle of 2 years East Coast, 1 year West Coast and I don't think that will be changing anytime soon.
At a cursory glance on o2cm results, it seems the Baltimore venue gets way more attention from couples than other venues. At the syllabus levels, you're looking at a difference between a large semifinal and a large quarter or even 1/8 final. The 'hits' counters also seem to indicate that Baltimore generates as much as 20-30% more interest than when the comp is located elsewhere.
Given that the next largest USA Dance comps (by results hits) are located either in New York City or California (half of the MAC at most), the nationals locations aren't much of a surprise.
Don't get me wrong, it's a great, fun competition, but the fields aren't anything like you'd see at MAC or Bethesda. The difference is particularly noticeable if you're dancing adult in the international styles. The year I did it, there was one other couple in adult bronze standard.