Saturday, March 25, 2006

Dean indicates Denver should make Final 3

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

Columnist Rob Reuteman writes in today's Rocky Mountain News:

Host committee co-chair, Steve Farber has already met with Dean about the city's bid to host [the 2008 Democratic Convention]: "He's given us indications Denver should be in the final three."
There are a lot more interesting notes from this article:
  • The host committee has already raised $400,000.
  • Chris gates, co-chairman of the host committee, notes that the final decision will made after the November mid-terms:
"In the end, it's Dean's decision, and the November elections will affect it," Gates said. "It's as much about politics as it is about the technical capabilities of any city to stage a convention. And the West is the new battleground for the presidency."
  • Denver's bid would put most of the convention action at the Pepsi Center, with the final night at Invesco Field.
I am very suprised by that last one. Having the convention in two separate places makes the logistics much harder. You have to build all the infrastructure twice: podium, floor seating, and media facilities. I can't imagine the media will be happy about having to pay for two sets of anchorbooths, wiring, etc. Security is also a nightmare. You have to setup the whole security infrastructure in two separate places. Not to mention the security checkpoint system gets used and worked out the first 2 days, before the big days of Wednesday and Thursday. If you have the final night in a completely new place, it seems to me you're asking for trouble.

Update: I would note, however, that Invesco field is actually very close to the Pepsi Center - there's just Interstate 87 between them. In theory, they could use the same security perimeter, and almost the same transportation setup. I still think the cost, however, is still a major factor.


Anonymous said...

I agree about the last point of having it at two different places. I was a delegate in 2004, and for delegates, by the final day you are figured out where the buses will pick you up, where your delegation sits, etc. You have figured it all out for the big night! Having it at a different place seems crazy!

Anonymous said...

The buses will still pick you up at your hotel. An usher will tell you where your delegation sits. Bot too difficult.

Anonymous said...

Typo on the last post. I meant "not." As far as security is concerned, the secret service is already accustomed to securing multiple locations during the convention. Over the course of the Presidential race, they must secure multiple locations in multiple cities on the same day with very little advance notice. In this case, the "nightmare" of securing two locations in one week (with two years' notice) will be a cakewalk.

Anonymous said...

I strongly disagree with the last poster. If you have well over 4,000 delegates, not to mention alternates, guests, etc. it becomes extremely complex at the convention. You may say buses pick you up at the hotel, sure thats fine and dandy. But after the convention, its a mad house. Everyone is leaving at the same time and the buses are all in different areas depending on which hotel your delegation is at. There is not advanced notice to where your bus is. So you say its not too bad, but when 4,000 people are trying to find buses to at least 15 different locations in the city, its awful!

The second comment, sure, an usher can tell you where to sit. But it just is easier when you have a feeling for the convention hall. You know where the restrooms are. You know how to get somewhere. You know how to walk the floor to see the celebrities. There are just things which make it seem so outrageous to have it in a second place.

I really think that this move is wrong on Governor Dean's part. It would make life for delegates, the media, and the DNC horrendous!

Jeremy said...

As someone who was on staff at the 2004 convention, setting up three locations (Office Headquarters, Pepsi Center, and then Invesco Field) would indeed be a logistical nightmare. Not just for security, media, and delegates, but also for the media operations, technology, hall mangement, and administrative teams. The convention hall literally become a second office to the convention staff.

But I'm sure the powers that be would figure it out, there are some very smart people running and working at the conventions.

One final thought would be about the money that the federal government gives to the convention. Duplicating sites would mean paying for multiple things twice (delegate seating, wiring, etc). Just a thought.

Matt said...

First, don't blame Dean for this. This is coming from Denver, not from Dean. And it is just a comment mentioned in an article. It's not confirmed in any way.

But I agree that this is a mistake. I wonder if the poster who said it was OK has ever been to a convention. I've been to a number, and I don't see how this works in reality. But see the update to the post.

Matt said...


Our posts crossed, but we agree, and I think costs are the main reason this won't work. The networks are cutting back on expenses as it is. They are not going to want to pay the setup costs twice.

Also, can you imagine spending all that money, and then having to waste it because it rains? Not to mention tha temperature. Average low temparatures in Denver in late August is 55. I think we're discussing this too much. It makes no sense.

Jeremy, please email me. I want to ask you something.

Anonymous said...

As someone who worked at the 04 convention in the operations department, I can just say that the amount of time that was put into managing the convention hall itself was extraordinary. To try and do two locations might strain the convention staff to the limit and could result in a subpar presentation to the rest of the nation.