Thursday, May 25, 2006

Minneapolis news roundup

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

I have confirmed that Minneapolis/St. Paul is proposing three facilities for the Democrats (and Republicans) to choose from: the Metrodome and Target Center in Minneapolis and the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul. I'll look at the pros and cons of each venue in a future post.

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press:

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak talked up the Twin Cities' prospects this afternoon from the balcony of the new Guthrie Theater overlooking St. Anthony Falls.

Representatives of the Democratic National Committee will make a three-day visit here starting June 26 to review the cities' joint bid, the mayors said.

The two leaders pledged to showcase the cities, their attractions and their amenities.

"As a Democrat or a Republican, if you really look at the next presidential election, you can see that it will be decided on the Mississippi River in places like Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Louisiana," Rybak said. "We haven't had a chance like this in 100 years, and no one will work harder than we will to get one of these conventions."

Coleman agreed, saying, "We will continue to work together to show we are an ideal location for the DNC convention. I'm confident the DNC site visit will show our facilities are second to none and prove that we have a lot of excitement in Minnesota for the chance to host the convention."

And from a Minneapolis press release:
Hosting a national political convention is considered extremely valuable for a city – both economically and for visibility. According the Democratic National Committee, the 2004 Democratic National Convention held in Boston resulted in an economic impact of $156 million.

“Each would fill nearly all hotel rooms in the entire Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area, not to mention spill a large amount of spending into our hospitality and service businesses throughout the cities and state,” said Minneapolis Convention & Visitors Association President & CEO Greg Ortale. “A national political convention would rank among the largest events the metro area has ever hosted – rivaling the 2001 NCAA Final Four in terms of size and impact.”

Both conventions are expected to cost in excess of $50 million – a combination of cash, goods and in-kind services. The majority of the cash and goods needed would come from private and corporate donations on a local and national level, with other in-kind support from each city, county and the State. Beyond hard dollars, the immeasurable value can come from the spotlight shining on the city.

“In terms of generating national and international exposure for the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area, hosting a national political convention would be beyond our wildest dreams,” said Saint Paul RiverCentre Convention & Visitors Authority President Karolyn Kirchgesler. “It would draw a massive amount of national and international media attention, as the events are heavily covered via print, broadcast and web-based media outlets.