Sunday, June 18, 2006

Minneapolis site visit preview

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

The Technical Advisory Committee will be visiting Minneapolis/St. Paul starting on June 26 to evaluate their bid for the 2008 Democratic National Convention. The AP provides a preview:

They'll be treated to a $20,000 reception at the Walker Art Center. They'll also find $500 worth of flowers in their hotel rooms and they'll each go home with gift bags valued at $200, according to documents obtained by the Star Tribune.
Greg Ortale, the Greater Minneapolis Convention and Visitors Association president, wouldn't make the bids public, citing an exemption under the state public records law. But he said the two parties want everything from venue to transportation free. Ortale estimates the tab to be $53 million, with $15 million coming from the federal government.

Ortale estimated that more than $100 million would be spent here. That compares to the 1992 Super Bowl in Minneapolis, for which the city had to raise $3 million and reaped about $55 million, he said.

He said about 20,000 partisans attend the conventions and that each will spend $1,500 while they are here. Television networks alone spend millions for production. But the real reason to host a convention: "You're going to have credentialed press from all over the world datelining Minneapolis-St. Paul," he said.

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak is excited to pitch the city, and plans to run around the lakes with the visitors and go to nightclubs with them. "I am going to show them a good time or die trying," he said, adding, "We do not get the national attention that a great city like this deserves."
Minneapolis and Denver both look at this as a way to being the world to their city, and are probably willing to spend a little more to get it. New York doesn't need it in the same way. And politically, the same holds true - Denver and Minneapolis are much more politically attractive to the DNC than New York is. (New Orleans remains forever the wild card in all this). If I were Denver, I would be talking up Minneapolis' bid to the GOP - a major contender might fall out of the competition.