Excerpts from a Jul 8, 2014 Cleveland.com story
Cleveland edged out Dallas, the other finalist, as the recommended location for the convention, giving the city an opportunity to strut its stuff to a national crowd while placing Ohio even more firmly in the political spotlight for the upcoming presidential election.
Boosters are also working to lure the 2016 Democratic National Convention, although officials have said it is highly unlikely the city could host both events.
Conventions can be significant economic generators for a city. One study showed that the 2012 GOP convention pumped more than $200 million into the Tampa and Florida economies. That convention drew roughly 50,000 visitors.
Cleveland's convention pitch was rooted in political geography and in a downtown renaissance that leaders said occurred after the city lost its bid for the GOP's 2008 convention. Since that audition, Cleveland has added more hotel rooms and a new convention center.
Jul 3, 2014 - Politico - DNC sets site visits for 2016 convention
Democratic officials who will choose the location for the party’s 2016 convention have set dates for visits to the six potential host cities to evaluate their bids.
They will start in Birmingham, Alabama, on July 21-22.
Then the group heads to Ohio for a four day swing, spending August 4-5 in Cleveland and August 6-7 in Columbus.
They’ll travel to Brooklyn on August 11-12, Philadelphia on August 13-14 and finish in Phoenix on September 10-11.
The groups need to figure out whether the cities have the venues and hotels to accommodate 50,000 people under high security.
Jul 3, 2014 - NY Times - An Energized Cleveland Takes a Bipartisan Tack to Wooing Conventions
Downtown Cleveland is busily rehabilitating. The restaurant scene is percolating, and young newcomers are giving faded neighborhoods west of downtown, where brew pubs and bistros are opening, a patina of hipness.
No one has any illusions that this is about the renaissance of Cleveland. Ohio is the quintessential swing state. Its voters have correctly picked the president every time since 1964. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney spent so much time barnstorming the small towns and university arenas of Ohio in 2012 it sometimes seemed the entire election was being fought in the Buckeye State.
Although Cleveland is heavily Democratic, with large numbers of African-American voters, the surrounding suburbs of Cuyahoga County have many Republicans. The city’s host committee is wooing Republicans by arguing that a voter swing of just 15 percent in Cuyahoga County in 2012 “would have turned Ohio red.”
But a convention may have less influence on local voters than many assume. Both Democrats, who gathered in Charlotte, N.C., last time, and Republicans, who were in Tampa, Fla., lost their convention states.
If [the Republicans] select Cleveland, the Democrats, who are not planning to choose until later, will strike the city off their list.
“The phrase that’s used here more than anything else when talking about how Cleveland’s doing is, ‘At least we’re not Detroit,’ ” said Daniel McGraw, a city native who writes for Belt Magazine, an online publication that finds glamour in the city’s grit.
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