Columbus Wants to Host National Political Conventions in 2016
A group of local political and civic leaders announced today their intentions to explore the bidding process for both the Democratic and Republican national political conventions of 2016. These events can draw 45,000 visitors, 15,000 members of the international media and provide an estimated $150 to $200 million boost to the economy through tourism spending.
“It is time for the world to see the great city we’ve built, and there is no better way to show it off than to host one of our nation’s presidential nominating conventions,” said Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman.
The “Columbus 2016” working group (not to be confused with Columbus 2020) includes representatives from Experience Columbus, the Columbus Partnership, the City of Columbus and both the Ohio Republican and Democratic Parties.
“These are among the world’s greatest conventions and we are going to make sure that national leaders know that Columbus is ready to host their events and make it fun for delegates,” said Brian Ross, President and CEO of Experience Columbus. “We’ve built an excellent hospitality industry, with hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues, new parks and more, but the real key is our welcoming spirit and winning attitude.”
Despite being a hotly contested state, Ohio has not been home to a national political convention in nearly 90 years. Columbus was one of the main “battlegrounds” in the 2012 election, with frequent visits by Obama, Romney, their running mates and other supporters.
Columbus 2016 will prepare to draft a formal bid in the coming months of the city meets the requirements for hosting the two events. The site selection process is expected to run through mid-2014.
“We are collaborating to build Columbus’ brand and show off the region’s assets to the world,” said Alex Fischer, President and CEO of the Columbus Partnership. “There is no doubt that events such as a national political convention can have a major economic impact on area businesses.”
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