Thursday, July 13, 2006

New Orleans is out - updated

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

As I posted yesterday, New Orleans is no longer in the running to host the 2008 Democratic Convention:

New Orleans has dropped out of the race to host the 2008 Democratic National Convention, saying the cost of holding the event after Hurricane Katrina last year was too massive.


"The main reason is that we're not at a point to raise the millions and millions required," said Kelly Schulz, vice president of communications with the city's conventions and visitors bureau. Schulz estimated it would require at least $11 million in in-kind donations.

"If we're going to raise millions of dollars in sponsorship, it can go to other needs," Schulz said. "We're definitely open for business again, but there were larger needs. It might be a little early to host something this large."

It all came down to money for New Orleans, and this is the right decision for the city. While they could host the convention in 2008, and they would have done a fine job, the focus just needs to be on more important things.

I would also expect Howard Dean to be breathing a sigh of relief as he doesn't have to be in the position of saying no, or saying yes, to New Orleans.

A source tells me that they were told that New Orleans never really submitted a bid, or maybe never submitted a complete bid, after they supposedly got an extension. The details at this point are not important. No more posts about Librarians or Realtors. And then there were three...

Update: Comments from news reports from the cities:

New Orleans' WWLTV:
New Orleans Convention and Tourism President Steve Perry said the city would have needed to raise $70 million to host the event, money which generally comes from big Fortune 500 companies.

Perry said in a post-storm environment, New Orleans does not have any of those companies to turn to for help in raising the capital.

“The Democratic National Committee would have definitely loved to have come here, it would have been a perfect fit for them from the political side and it would have been a great fit for us from the tourism, and convention and meeting side. But the sheer finances of it now have just put it out of our range.”

From Denver's Rocky Mountain News:

Colorado Democrats aren’t breaking out the champagne just yet, but New Orleans’ decision to drop out of the race to host the 2008 Democratic National Convention certainly improves Denver’s odds.

"Clearly, the fewer contenders, the better," said Pat Waak, chairwoman of the Colorado Democratic Party. "I think many worried New Orleans would draw a sympathy vote. Now, with them out, we clearly have a better chance of hosting the convention," she said.

Still in the competition, however, is New York and Minneapolis-St.Paul, both strong contenders because they are so well-known to the eastern establishment, political observers say. "But I think Democrats are looking to the West, and Colorado certainly is one of those states that could switch from red to blue, so along with our scenery and proven capacity to host a convention, I think we are in a strong position," Waak said.

And from Minneapolis, the Twin Cities Pioneer Press:

“Given the current situation in New Orleans, when we looked at what we had to raise, financially -- $70 million -- we felt that wasn’t a good financial decision,” said New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau director of communications Mary Beth Romig when the Scoop called her this afternoon.

The dropout was first suggested by Democracy in Action and by the Demconwatch blog, so we thought we’d just ring up the Big Easy and see if it were true. Shore ‘nuff.

“Certainly, we don’t want it to be a reflection that we can’t host a convention that size,” Romig said. ...
But given that parts of the city are uninhabitable and, well, it’s hurricane season again, New Orleans apparently thought it had better things to spend $70 million on than balloon drops and chain-link fencing.


Anonymous said...

Where did you find it? Interesting read » » »

Anonymous said...

That's a great story. Waiting for more. here