July 8th, 2014
11:56 AM ET
8 years ago

Cleveland to hold 2016 Republican convention

Washington (CNN) - The Republican National Committee announced Tuesday that their Site Selection Committee has picked Cleveland to host the 2016 Republican National Convention.

The full membership of the RNC is expected to ratify the Site Selection Committee's recommendation at its early August meeting in Chicago.

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Last month the RNC narrowed the competition down to two finalists: Cleveland and Dallas. Denver, Kansas City, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, and Columbus, Ohio were previously dropped from contention.

In January the RNC the approved a rule change that would move the date of the GOP convention from its usual date of late August or early September to as early as late June.

Cleveland gives the Republicans a chance to hold their nominating convention in Ohio, a crucial battleground state. No Republican has won the White House without carrying the Buckeye State.

Cleveland's twice hosted presidential conventions: the 1924 and 1936 Republican conventions.

For a city, a convention is a costly affair as the host is expected to raise upwards of $60 million to help pay for it. But if managed correctly, a convention pays off as the surrounding communities are flooded with as many as 50,000 new visitors and the area is showcased on an international stage for weeks leading up to the event.

An Republican official tells CNN that Cleveland already has an unprecedented $30 million in the bank towards its convention bid.

Where will Democrats hold their 2016 convention?

Six cities are bidding to host the 2016 Democratic National Committee. The six cites are Birmingham, Alabama, Cleveland, Columbus, New York City, Philadelphia and Phoenix.

The Democratic National Committee says its Technical Advisory Committee will visit all six cities this summer. The DNC plans to have a final decision by late this year or early 2015.

The RNC Site Selection Committee's decision on Cleveland, assuming it's ratified in August by the full RNC, means in reality that the city is off the DNC's list.

"The DNC’s exclusivity clause is triggered when a city signs a contract with another political party but given today’s news, we’ll discuss with Cleveland and determine whether a site visit is still necessary," the DNC said in a statement Tuesday.

Why Cleveland

Site Selection Chairwoman Enid Mickelsen said in a statement that her panel "was tasked with difficult decisions and was presented with several strong options to host our convention."

But she added that she's "confident Cleveland is the right pick for our next national convention. Cleveland has demonstrated they have the commitment, energy, and terrific facilities to help us deliver a history-making Republican convention."

And RNC Chairman Reince Priebus added that "A Cleveland convention offers our party a great steppingstone to the White House in 2016, and I’m encouraged by the committee’s recommendation. The team from Cleveland has gone above and beyond the call of duty and I think they’re representative of a city eager to show the country all the fantastic things they have to offer."

“The RNC set a new standard for conventions during this process. Not only will the convention be held earlier in 2016, but there are also substantial guarantees in place for funding that put us well ahead of previous conventions and will give our nominee the best opportunity to succeed," Priebus added.

As for the losing city, Mickelsen said that "Dallas is a world class city with wonderful venues and fantastic people and I’m certain they’ll make a great host for our party in the future. The Dallas team were excellent ambassadors for their city and showed both the committee and the RNC all the wonderful things the city has to offer."

Cleveland, the nation's 45th most populous city according to the 2010 census, may be best known as the home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But the northeastern Ohio city, along the shores of Lake Erie and bisected by the Cuyahoga River, is also home to the Cleveland Clinic, which is ranked among America's best hospitals. The city averages high temperatures in the low 80's during the summer.

While holding a convention in a crucial battleground state such as Ohio may seem like a plus, it far from guarantees a political party will win that state come November. The last time the GOP captured the state where they held their presidential nominating convention was 1992, when the party held camp in Houston.

Last time around neither party (the Democrats in Charlotte, North Carolina and the GOP in Tampa, Florida) carried the state where they held their convention.

"There doesn't seem to be a correlation between conventions and winning particular states," Priebus said earlier this year.

Filed under: 2016 • Republican National Convention • RNC
soundoff (287 Responses)
  1. Kay Star

    Sorry, Cleveland, you got the short straw!

    July 8, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  2. Greg

    lol @ malory. Yeah, right. When Obama was campaigning here, lots of extra police officers and other security were needed. Obama stuck our small suburban city with an extra bill over the six figure mark. He is so full of himself and thinks he's entitled to this crap. Romney also came to our city months later and asked the city to tally up a bill and he reimbursed the city for the expenses related to his visit.

    July 8, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  3. LibsHateMe

    Great job fellow conservatives. We're going to have one Hell of a year this year and in '16.

    July 8, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  4. Mike

    They can make a side trip to Kent to commemorate Tricky Dick shooting down college kids.

    July 8, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  5. J


    Why do people make assumptions about CLE based on events that happened years ago? Yes, the river caught on fire. Yes, many manufacturing jobs went away. The city has moved on. There is a revitalization going on that is positive and exciting. For once I wish people would give the city a chance and not associate their inadequacies on the ball field/court with what is truly going on.

    July 8, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Knew all the liberals out there would have a say in this, especially because it is Cleveland. We had been away from Cleveland for 30 years, came back and love every minute of it. It is a beautiful city, has a lot to offer, and I am guessing you libs are just a little jealous. One thing about most liberals is they are mostly hypocrites.

    July 8, 2014 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  7. sayer

    I'm always amazed at how stupid the GOP are.

    July 8, 2014 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  8. Cleveland Amore

    Holding the convention in Cleveland is not gonna help the Republicans win the White House in 2016. We just want their money and we want to show convention planners that with our new convention center, increased hotel space, incredible cultural amenities and flourishing restaurant scene that we have world class facilities and can host large conventions.

    Also, it's not going to be ungodly hot and people can actually walk outside in the summer.

    July 8, 2014 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  9. Em

    Cleveland better stock up on the gas medicine, shredded wheat, and gin.... A heard over archaic, obese, good ole boys are about to hit town.

    July 8, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  10. Tom 3:16

    Parking shouldn't be a problem, what with their ability to fit a dozen or so clowns into each little car.

    July 8, 2014 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  11. Pad

    I can't imagine why they didn't want to come to Dallas in July. It's beautiful that time of year with highs in the low 100s. It doesn't even get hot until August.

    July 8, 2014 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  12. Rustafari

    Already lowering expectations I see. It's usually after the election that this happens...

    July 8, 2014 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  13. heath

    Cleveland rocks!....Cleveland rocks!...Ohio!

    July 8, 2014 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  14. bravadoinboston

    Can't have "exclusionary" zones anymore....SCOTUS said so....no buffers. Those prevent free speech. Look out Repubs! People will be "in your face."

    July 8, 2014 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  15. Ashley Cupito

    Getting Lebron James and now his...pshhh!! Whats so great about Clevland...come to the "Big D"

    July 8, 2014 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  16. Dead Bear

    For once in the life of this Pittsburgh Steeler fan, I feel sorry for Cleveland.

    July 8, 2014 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  17. osmerus

    Cleveland has come a long way in the last 20 years. Contrary to the beliefs of many on this comment section. I wish it were the Dems coming here but any convention will bring in lots of money and publicity. Don't knock Cleveland till you visit our dwntn, its way better than most cities I have been to that are comparable in size.

    July 8, 2014 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  18. Revenge of the Red States

    Red state voters must do their duty this November and THROUGH OUT ALL DEMOCRAT SENATORS. The far left extremist Democrat Party hates you and thinks you are a bunch of red neck losers and parasites. Why would you vote for a Democrat?! Why would you want to empower them and their insane dictator Barack Obama? Please, do your duty to your state and your country, vote all red state Democrat senators OUT OF OFFICE.

    July 8, 2014 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  19. Malory Archer


    lol @ malory. Yeah, right. When Obama was campaigning here, lots of extra police officers and other security were needed.


    That's par for the course REGARDLESS of who is president. However, if your city had hosted the Dem convention, they would have enjoyed a windfall from the taxes all those Dem attendees generate thanks to their openness and acceptance of EVERYBODY.

    July 8, 2014 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  20. rickers

    Just the ticket for the city - Clevelanders have a lot to be proud of & this is just one thing..

    Good Luck & have fun RNC.

    July 8, 2014 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  21. Silence DoGood

    Can you imagine being the police chief there in charge of securing the city?
    Countless angry Tea Party terrorist folks chanting for violence and carrying guns.
    What could go wrong?

    July 8, 2014 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  22. Mark

    Bill, Bloominton IL

    Cleveland gets to be the bithplace of a new nation when we take back the country from the do nothing liberals. Gone will be the free handout days replaced with find something to do.
    Just more partisan gibberish, and I dont care which side it comes from. Conventions are not very accurate predictors
    of elections (at all). As for do nothing, you might want to look at your own party too.

    July 8, 2014 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  23. KA

    I am very disturbed by this news. There was a time when Cleveland could host a national convention and while terrific facilities exist, what is now missing is easy air travel for conventioneers. United Airlines closed its hub in Cleveland. An entire terminal is now closed. Direct flights to major cities no longer exist. Having a national convention in Cleveland is only going to point out that Cleveland is no longer a easy place to do business or to locate a business and will further point out that the airlines have given up on this city.

    July 8, 2014 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  24. TacoBueno

    Famous Drew Carey Show

    July 8, 2014 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  25. mike

    great choice RNC! now either john kasich or rand paul wont have to travel too far to accept the nomination!!

    July 8, 2014 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
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