Friday, February 17, 2006

Pittsburgh getting back in the hunt?

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

A surprise from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

The Democratic Party extended an ... invitation in November, although Pittsburgh did not respond before a January deadline. Because of the change in city administrations, the party has restarted talks with Pittsburgh about hosting that convention. It would join 11 other cities bidding for the event.
Within a one-mile radius, Pittsburgh has just 4,200 hotel rooms. But across the region -- extending to Seven Springs ski resort in Somerset County -- southwestern Pennsylvania has more than 21,000 available rooms, said Beverly Morrow-Jones, spokeswoman for the Greater Pittsburgh Convention and Visitors Bureau. The David L. Lawrence Convention Center might not fit that many people, she said, but Mellon Arena certainly could hold them.
Democrats overcame logistical challenges to prepare for 2004 by renting riverboats for extra hotel space and drafting plans for sky boxes in the Downtown convention center.

Former Mayor Tom Murphy pulled the city out of competition in 2002, saying in a letter to Democratic leaders that it would have been too expensive to retrofit the convention center for the party's needs.

Pittsburgh was one of 10 cities which accepted the invitation to bid for the 2004 Convention, but dropped out before submitting a proposal to host. The article implies that the Mellon Arena is capable of hosting the convention, but its not clear to me why they focused on the Conventon Center in 2004. Any Pittsburgh experts care to comment?