In Race To Host 2016 GOP Convention, Dallas Advances To Next Round | KERA News

In Race To Host 2016 GOP Convention, Dallas Advances To Next Round

Apr 2, 2014

Dallas made the first cut in the competition to host the 2016 GOP Convention.

The Republican National Convention just announced that Dallas and five other cities are moving on to the next round of consideration.

The other cities are Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Kansas City and Las Vegas.

Two cities were cut: Phoenix and Columbus.

Dallas officials made their pitch to GOP leaders last month. They propose hosting the convention at American Airlines Center. The city says GOP leaders should choose Dallas for its convention because the city has plenty of hotel rooms, has the ability to raise enough funding, is centrally located, and has a proven track record of hosting big events. Learn more about Dallas' bid.

Rating the competition

Dallas sees three of the cities as its main competitors. Following last month's presentation, Dallas Convention and Visitors’ Bureau President Phillip Jones said he’s keeping his eye on Kansas City, because it’s spent more than a year planning for a convention; Denver, because it hosted the 2008 Democratic National Convention; and Las Vegas, because of its plentiful hotel rooms and convention space.

“We’re certainly keeping our eye on Las Vegas because they’re always a tough competitor,” Jones said.

A team of RNC staff will visit the six cities for a “more in-depth and technical look at financing, convention venues, media workspace, and hotels.” Eventually, a decision will be made on where the full RNC delegation should make official site visits.

Dallas last hosted a national political convention in 1984, when the Republican National Convention came to town.

Enid Mickelsen, chair of the Republican National Committee’s Site Selection Committee, released the following statement about the cities that were cut:

“In any other year, Columbus and Phoenix could have topped the list, but with so many strong cities competing, the committee had to make the difficult decision to narrow the field.  Phoenix and Columbus are great American cities, and I hope they’ll pursue a future bid for an RNC convention. 

More on Dallas' bid

Various Dallas representatives were in Washington last month to make their pitch. They included Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau President Phillip Jones and retired U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Dallas’ glitzy, 72-page big bid document reminds Republicans that Big D hosted Ronald Reagan and the party’s convention in 1984.

It boasts of Dallas being the second fastest-growing city in the country and a top-five destination for meetings and conventions.

Dallas claims to have the capacity to assemble a host committee capable of generating more than $60 million in convention funding.

Under one bolded headline, “It’s All About Location,” Dallas touts a central location between both coasts and 14 entertainment districts where convention goers would have “fun and unforgettable experiences.”

(Photo Credit: Jim Epler/Flickr)