Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Dallas explains their decision

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

Dallas was always been a bit conflicted about whether they were going to bid for the 2008 Democratic National Convention, so it was not suprising when they dropped out last weekend. Today's Dallas Morning News has more on the decision:

Don't expect the nation's political parties to party here just yet.

Dallas will not submit bids for either the Democratic or Republican national conventions in 2008 and will instead look toward hosting a convention in 2012, City Manager Mary Suhm says.

The decision comes after both the Republican and Democratic national committees this year invited Dallas to submit convention proposals. The Democrats' proposal deadline is Friday and the GOP's is Monday, party officials said.

"The city would be honored to host either convention, but the city really isn't in a position for 2008 to host them," said Phillip Jones, president and chief executive officer of the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Doing it in 2012 would make a lot more sense for a number of reasons. It would be a much better opportunity to showcase Dallas."

Atop Mr. Jones' why-2012-is-better list: more robust development in downtown Dallas and the Trinity River Corridor, and the expansion of the area's public transportation system.

Ms. Suhm agrees.

"It's probably something better to consider for the next go-around," she said. "Our downtown, our transportation and our venues will be more competitive in the future."

The Victory Park real estate project near American Airlines Center – the arena would probably house major convention activities – is slated to be filled with several new hotels and a bevy of restaurants, living space and recreational facilities by the decade's end. But it won't be fully developed in time for a 2008 convention.

Money is also a factor, for while conventions are potential boons for local economies, they typically cost cities tens of millions of dollars to pull off.

While some elected officials and partisans attempted to generate support for a 2008 convention in Dallas, a concerted effort never materialized.

Even if one had, landing the Democratic convention in particular would have proved challenging, said Darlene Ewing, chairwoman of the Dallas County Democratic Party.

"I don't think the national people are considering Texas a player in 2008, which is unfortunate," Ms. Ewing said. "We probably won't be on the short list this time around, but at least it lays groundwork. It's sort of like the Olympics: You have to go after it a few times before you win it."


Anonymous said...


now that the list of cities have dwindled down a bit -- how about doing a short pros/cons for the remaining cities...

Anonymous said...

Mpls and St. Paul announce bids for both GOP and Dem conventions.