More Potential 2016 Convention Host Cities Make Their Case to the RNC  ...1 / 4 >

March 21, 2014 - Representatives of Las Vegas, Cincinnati and Dallas made formal presentations on their bids to host the 2016 Republican National Convention before the Republican National Committee's site selection committee, completing a process that began on March 3 when representatives of the other five interested cities appeared.  After making their presentations in the National Republican Club, representatives of the three cities spoke to reporters at RNC headquarters next door.  RNC chairman Reince Priebus and Enid Mickelsen, chairman of the site selection committee, also spoke with reporters.

Mickelsen said the committee members had heard from "eight very strong cities."  "There is no frontrunner at this point," she said.  Mickelsen said the committee members were "pleasantly surprised by the level of commitment" shown by the cities and had "a lot of strong packages to consider."  The site selection committee had originally planned to hear from all eight cities on March 3, but a snow storm intervened.  (That storm may have saved the committee members from being overwhelmed by too much information in one day, a participant in the sessions noted).

RNC chairman Reince Priebus said the RNC is looking at holding its convention starting on June 27 or July 18.  The June date may be difficult for cities where the convention venues are used by  professional basketball or hockey teams.  The RNC request for proposal sets out a timeframe of six weeks to prepare the venue for the convention, but both Priebus and Mickelsen indicated a degree of flexibility.  "We need six weeks," Priebus said, adding, "We could probably run with five."  Mickelsen noted, "There are ways to get around all kinds of different problems."   She said that "negotiations will continue until the contract is signed."

The RNC is looking for a host city that can put together solid financial package, reportedly $50 million, provide smooth transportation, provide a positive delegate experience, and give their nominee a boost  as he or she heads into the final four or so months of the campaign.  Typically a host committee raises money from three sources: nationally from outside the city and state, within the city and community, and in-kind contributions. In past there have been grants from the federal government to the parties to help them put on their conventions (for the 2012 conventions, the Democrats and Republicans each received grants of about $17.7 million from the Treasury), but earlier this month Congress voted that such funds should go toward pediatric cancer research.

In the next several weeks, members of the site selection committee will weigh what they have heard from the eight cities and pare them down to a handful of finalists.  They and technical experts will then visit those cities.  The site selection committee will make a recommendation, and the full RNC will vote at its summer meeting in August.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and Site Selection Committee Chair Enid Mickelsen speak to reporters.

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