Thursday, May 18, 2006

Minneapolis/St. Paul to submit combined bid - updated

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Today at a 8 AM press conference, Minneapolis and St. Paul will announce combined bids for both the Republican and Democratic 2008 National Conventions. From the Star-Tribune:

Setting aside their storied rivalry, Minneapolis and St. Paul are banding together to bring the 2008 Democratic and Republican national conventions to the Twin Cities. If either bid is successful, Minnesota would be witness to its first presidential nomination since Republicans gave incumbent Benjamin Harrison the nod in 1892 at a convention hall in Minneapolis. The cities' cash registers also would ring up a $150 million windfall, according to a study released after Boston hosted the Democratic party bash in 2004.

The bids offer the parties three venues -- the Metrodome and Target Center in Minneapolis and Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul -- along with a total of 20,000 hotel rooms in both cities. The fact that some of those rooms would be far from the convention venues could be a problem, but local boosters say conventioneers were widely scattered in New York City during the 2002 GOP Convention.

Mayors R.T. Rybak and Chris Coleman will jump-start the bids at a joint news conference this morning in Minneapolis, joining a list of heavy hitters from both parties. Former Vice President Walter Mondale, the state's DFL dean, will serve as honorary co-chairman with former Republican U.S. Sen. Rudy Boschwitz. U.S. Reps. Martin Sabo and Jim Oberstar will hand-deliver the Democratic bid today.

Broadcast and publishing magnates Stanley Hubbard and Vance Opperman, major fundraisers for Republicans and Democrats respectively, are leading the effort and offering bipartisan boosterism. "The joint bid will be our strength," said Bob Hume, spokesman for Mayor Coleman. "When we work together, we have a higher chance of success."

Light-rail trains between the Metrodome and Target Center could play well with party planners, said Greg Ortale, president of the Greater Minneapolis Convention and Visitors Association.

Minneapolis has bid several times for the conventions, most recently in 1998 for the 2000 events and for the 2004 Republican convention. Ortale said Jesse Ventura's third-party victory in that year's gubernatorial race "knocked us out of both, but showed they viewed us a qualified venue."

Brass from both parties are expected to visit the cities this summer, said Rybak spokesman Jeremy Hanson. "My understanding, both officially and informally, is we're very strong candidates for both conventions," he said.

From the Press Release:
What: Saint Paul and Minneapolis plan to submit joint bids to host the National Democratic and Republican Conventions in 2008. The bids were developed jointly by the Saint Paul and Minneapolis Convention and Visitors organizations and will be submitted on Friday, May 19th. Mayors of both cities will announce details at a press conference on the Minneapolis Riverfront, near the site of the old Expo Center, where the Twin Cities hosted its only national political convention back in 1892.

When: Friday, May 19, 8:00 a.m. Where: Nicollet Island Pavilion, near downtown Minneapolis 40 Power Street, Minneapolis

Who: Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, Minneapolis Mayor R.T Rybak, Minnesota GOP Chair Ron Carey, Minnesota DFL Associate Chair Donna Cassutt, Karolyn Kirchgesler, President & CEO of the Saint Paul RiverCentre Convention & Visitors Authority, Greg Ortale, President & CEO of the Greater Minneapolis Convention & Visitors Association


eb said...

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