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Why PHL?

From famous works of art to industry-changing innovations and successful meetings and conventions, some of the world’s greatest minds have chosen to make it in Philadelphia.

With a legacy of hosting prestigious events, starting with the First Continental Congress to today, Philadelphia has everything needed to host the Democratic National Convention. Our strong minority business community, engaged labor presence and unrivaled delegate experience have made the city a top choice for some of the country’s most important meetings and conventions.

Here are some more reasons why Philadelphia is the choice to host the Democratic National Convention in 2016:

  • Go where the people are. Philadelphia is the second-largest city on the East Coast and the fifth-largest in the U.S.
  • Location, location, location. Philadelphia is a two-hour drive from New York City and two-and-a-half hours from Washington, DC, with convenient access to the Pennsylvania Turnpike, I-76, I-95 and the New Jersey Turnpike. One-quarter of the U.S. population lives within a five-hour drive of Philadelphia, and Amtrak’s 30th Street Station is an easy stop away for the Northeast Corridor rail line.
  • Philadelphia knows how to host big events. Every year, we host the nation’s premier 4th of July celebration, the Wawa Welcome America Festival, attracting more than a million people to a week-long series of events across the city. We’ve been selected to host the Republican National Convention in 2000 and the 2015 World Meeting of Families, which will bring Pope Francis with more than two million people from around the world to Philadelphia.
  • It’s a walkable, easy-to-navigate city. Thanks to founder William Penn, Philadelphia’s Center City follows an easy-to-navigate grid street design.
  • The country was born here. The country’s Founding Fathers met, discussed, debated and formed a new country in Philadelphia. Independence Hall—plus the city’s streets, houses and taverns—hosted the revolutionary gatherings. Independence National Historical Park, called America’s most historic square mile, includes national treasures such as Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell and The President’s House: Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation.
  • Philadelphia’s art scene is the best in the country. The Benjamin Franklin Parkway is a destination in itself. The Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Barnes Foundation, the Rodin Museum and The Franklin Institute line the culture-packed boulevard.
  • There should be a convention just for Philadelphia’s food. People can’t get enough of Philly’s dining scene—street food, a handful of Top Chef stars (and winners), 300+ bring-your-own-bottle restaurants, outdoor eateries, sidewalk seating reminiscent of European cities, craft pizza spots and the storied Italian Market. To put it simply, Philadelphia is a food town.
  • The hotels are for more than just sleeping. They’re almost attractions themselves. HotelChatter named Philadelphia the “Best Hotel Scene of 2013.” Why?
          • Recent additions of new brand hotels (Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco in view of the Liberty Bell and the newly redesigned Radisson Blu)
          • Upcoming projects (W + Element and SLS International)
          • Photo-worthy hotel views of the city
  • The RNC attendees loved it here, and the city has only gotten better. Here are just a few additions to the city since then:
          • Barnes Foundation – Dr. Albert Barnes’ world-renowned collection moved from a suburban town to Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway in 2012. The museum houses 181 Renoirs, 69 Cézannes, 59 Matisses, 46 Picassos and 7 Van Goghs and African sculpture.
          • The President’s House: Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation – Just steps from the Liberty Bell, people view structural fragments of the home where Presidents Washington and Adams lived during their terms and where nine enslaved people served the first president.
          • National Museum of American Jewish History – Exhibitions, rare artifacts and interactive displays mark the contributions, hardships and successes of American Jews through every phase of the country’s history.
          • Comcast Center – The tallest building in Philadelphia and one of the tallest “green” buildings in the nation, the Comcast Center draws people into its lobby with The Comcast Experience—one of the world’s highest resolution LED displays.
          • Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts – Located on the Avenue of the Arts (South Broad Steet), the $265 million Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts is home to The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Philly Pops, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and American Theater Arts for Youth.
          • National Constitution Center – Dedicated to the four most powerful pages in America’s history, the National Constitution Center examines “We the People” through exhibits, artifacts and the theatrical production Freedom Rising.
          • Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building – This Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) property sits across the street from the main building and houses the PMA’s vast costume and textile collection, as well as modern and contemporary design and photographs.
          • Benjamin Franklin Museum – Dedicated to celebrating the legacy of one of America’s most storied forefathers, the museum features artifacts, computer animations and interactive displays that explore Franklin’s life and character.
          • Liberty Bell Center – The Liberty Bell Center provides a fitting setting for the icon of freedom, and for the first time allows visitors to view exhibits focusing on the Bell’s origins and its modern day role as an international icon of freedom.
          • Schuylkill River Trail – Whether on bike, foot or rollerblades, outdoor enthusiasts work it out along the city-to-suburb Schuylkill River Trail.
          • Dilworth Plaza (opening soon) – In fall 2014, the $55 million renovation of Dilworth Plaza will transform the west side of City Hall into a multi-use public space, complete with tree groves and green areas, an outdoor cafe, a performance space and activity areas for outdoor markets.

Democratic National Committee

For Immediate Release

February 12, 2015


Contact: DNC Press

DNC Chair Announces Philadelphia to Host the 2016 Democratic National Convention

Washington, DC— Today, DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced Philadelphia will host the 2016 Democratic National Convention the week of July 25, 2016. The DNC signed the final contract with Philadelphia this morning.

“I am thrilled to announce that Philadelphia will host the convention where we will nominate the 45th President of the United States,” Wasserman Schultz said. “In addition to their commitment to a seamless and safe convention, Philadelphia’s deep rooted place in American history provides a perfect setting for this special gathering. I cannot wait to join Democrats across the country to celebrate our shared values, lay out a Democratic vision for the future, and support our nominee.”
The DNC’s Technical Advisory Group evaluated cities across the country, looking at factors such as hotel capacity, transportation, security, financing and logistics. 
“The City of Philadelphia is excited and honored to be selected as the host city for the 2016 Democratic National Convention,” Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter said. “We believe that it was our proven track record of hosting big events safely and efficiently with a dynamic team of top-tier professionals to organize and manage a conference of this magnitude, paired with our City’s tremendous amenities, its accessible location and historical significance, which made Philadelphia the ideal choice for the 2016 DNC.  I want to thank our great team at PHL DNC 2016, Governor Rendell and Governor Wolf, Senator Casey, Congressman Brady, Congressman Fattah, and former Congresswoman Schwartz.  I especially want to acknowledge our great partners in the Labor unions, business and political communities, clergy and our citizens, who are eager to see Philadelphia on the national stage as the host city.  We’re all delighted to make history again, here in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection.”
Additional details on the convention structure, host committee, and staff, will be made available in the coming weeks.

** Ed. note: DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, and former Governor Ed Rendell will hold a press conference call at noon on the decision.

Pennsylvania Democratic Party

PA will host the 2016 Democratic National Convention!

The Pennsylvania Democratic Party applauds Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and the Democratic National Committee in choosing Philadelphia to host the 2016 Democratic Convention, the first Democratic National Convention in our Commonwealth since 1948.

Pennsylvania Democrats are deeply appreciative of the efforts of Congressman Brady, former Governor Rendell, Mayor Michael Nutter, former State Party Director Kevin Washo and their leadership team for the hard work and diligence that went into making this a reality.

Philadelphia's rich history and historic significance to our Country make it the perfect backdrop for this Convention. The Democratic Presidential Nominee has won in Pennsylvania continuously since 1988. As the Host State for this event, we plan on maintaining that winning tradition in 2016.

My thanks also go out to all of you who believe in this Party and the integrity of this institution. We will all stand united and show the nation what a remarkable State we live in as together we elect another Democrat to the White House in 2016!

Jim Burn, Chair,
Pennsylvania Democratic Party

On Nov. 19, 2014 Philadelphia 2016 held a young professionals event at JG Domestic in the Cira Center.

                                                                                                   photo courtesy of Philadelphia 2016

DNC Technical Advisory Committee Site Visit Aug. 13-14, 2014

photo courtesy City of Philadelphia
June 6, 2014 - Mayor Michael Nutter holds a press conference to release a letter [PDF] sent to DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz announcing that the City of Philadelphia intends to compete to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

TEXT OF LETTER from U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA):

June 6, 2014

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Democratic National Committee
430 South Capitol St. SE
Washington, DC 20003

Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz –

I am writing to express my enthusiastic support of Philadelphia’s 2016 Democratic National Convention Bid.

Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia specifically, has long been a critical component to any Democratic Presidential electoral victory. We are proud to have contributed to those victories. To host the 2016 Convention would be an honor for our city and it would provide a boost for our nominee.

Not only is Philadelphia full of passionate Democrats, but we have the infrastructure and leadership to make the 2016 Convention a success. From our myriad hotels to our excellent public transportation, logistically Philadelphia is a sensible location. The coalition we have put together to financially support this bid is a strong combination of political and business leaders who are committed to making this a success.

Philadelphia is a booming city in every sense of the word. We are proud to host some of the best hospitals and institutions of higher learning in the country. From our impressive art collections to our growing tech sector to our sustainability initiatives, Philadelphia is a true renaissance city.

I could not be more enthusiastic or energetic in my support of this bid, and I hope to be working closely with you in the coming years to make the 2016 Convention in Philadelphia a success and help elect another Democratic President.


Bob Casey



June 6, 2014


Amie M. Downs
Allegheny County

Timothy McNulty

City of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, Allegheny County Partnering with Philadelphia on DNC Bid

PITTSBURGH – Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and City of Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto announced today that although the city and county would not be bidding to bring the Democratic National Convention (DNC) to Pittsburgh, that they have worked cooperatively with elected and civil officials in the City of Philadelphia to play a role in bringing the Convention to Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania.

“By partnering with the City of Philadelphia, we have the opportunity to showcase Pennsylvania in the national media spotlight, which benefits our community as a whole,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “While having the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County front and center as host of the Democratic National Convention is absolutely attractive, and showcases our vibrancy and growth, the timing just isn’t right. We can accomplish more together for the good of our Commonwealth by working cooperatively.”

The County Executive and Mayor had numerous meetings and conversations with corporate, civic and political leaders within Allegheny County to determine whether a bid was something that could be pursued, and ultimately performed, if Pittsburgh was selected for the Convention. After their due diligence was completed, the consensus was that while the appropriate infrastructure was in place, that the timing was not right due to other financial issues. After reaching that conclusion, the Executive and Mayor, as well as many other figures in the region, began talking with Philadelphia about what could be accomplished by working together.

“The Democratic National Convention would have been a great opportunity for our city, but we aren’t prepared to take on the cost right now,” said Mayor William Peduto. “By exploring a partnership with Philadelphia, we can support our neighbors on the other side of the state and potentially capture some of the economic benefits by having Pittsburgh companies participate in the event.”

Office of the County Executive

101 Courthouse • 436 Grant Street • Pittsburgh, PA 15219