Cleveland to host 2016 GOP convention

WASHINGTON (USA TODAY) — Republicans will be nominating their 2016 standard-bearer for the White House in Cleveland.

The Republican National Committee announced Tuesday that Cleveland beat Dallas to host the party's 2016 convention, which could bring millions of dollars to the Ohio city that's experiencing a renaissance.

"We're excited," said RNC Chairma Reince Priebus as he announced the decision on Fox News.

Priebus put a premium on convention logistics — including venues, hotel rooms and transportation — over politics in choosing a site. There were numerous complaints during the 2012 convention in Tampa of delegates waiting in long lines to board buses to their convention hotels, and then having to drive up to an hour after events were held at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Priebus also strongly urged moving the GOP convention to late June in order to give the nominee earlier access to general-election campaign funds. In 2012, Mitt Romney clinched the Republican nomination in May but couldn't use millions of dollars in money set aside for the fall campaign until after he was officially nominated in August.

MORE: The Road to 2016

The timing of the convention was a factor in the GOP's decision-making. Both Cleveland and Dallas are home to professional sports teams, and basketball or hockey playoffs are possibilities. Cleveland had said it could make Quicken Loans Arena, home to the NBA's Cavaliers, available in time for a June 27 convention start. But Dallas, which proposed the American Airlines Center, offered the GOP dates in July out of consideration for the NBA's Mavericks and NHL's Stars.

The 2012 GOP convention resulted in a total economic impact of $404 million to Tampa, according to a University of Tampa study. More than 50,000 Republican delegates, party officials and reporters converged in Tampa for the convention.

Republicans also received convention host proposals from Denver, Cincinnati, Columbus, Kansas City, Las Vegas and Phoenix.



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