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Site Selection

(revised February 1, 2011)  For both the Democrats and the Republicans, the process of selecting the convention site takes almost a year.  Only about two dozen American cities have the facilities, infrastructure and wherewithall to host one of the major party's quadrennial nominating conventions.  Because of the substantial financial commitment required and the demands on infrastructure, many of these cities opt not to pursue a convention bid.  Yet, holding a national convention does provide a significant economic boost to a city, and interested cities make substantial efforts to woo the parties. Hosting a convention provides an economic boost, but competing for and hosting a convention likewise imposes major obligations. To mount a successful bid, political, civic and business leaders must be firmly united behind the effort.

Republicans will hold their convention the week of Aug. 27, 2012 in Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL.  They also considered Phoenix, AZ and Salt Lake City, UT.  Michigan RNC committeewoman Holly Hughes chaired their nine-person Site Selection Committee, consisting of two RNC members elected from each of four regions.

Democrats will hold their convention the week of Sept. 3, 2012 in Charlotte, NC.  They also considered St. Louis, MO, Minneapolis, MN, and Cleveland, OH.  The DNC's Technical Advisory Group conducted site visits in summer 2010.


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Oct. 28, 2009 DNC sends out letters of seeking interest from potential host cities.

Jan. 11, 2010 Deadline for cities to submit letters of interest.

March 2010 DNC e-mails out Request for Proposals (RFPs) to interested cities (first ever electronic bid process).

April 5, 2010 DNC Chairman Tim Kaine announces that the Democrats will hold their 2012 national convention the week of Sept. 3, 2012.

May 21, 2010 Deadline for cities to respond. 

June 30, 2010
DNC chairman Tim Kaine announces that four cities have been selected as finalists to host the 2012 Democratic National Convention: Charlotte, NC; Cleveland, OH; Minneapolis, MN; and St. Louis, MO +.

summer 2010
DNC's Technical Advisory Group conducts site visits. 

Feb. 1, 2011
DNC announces selection of Charlotte, NC to host the Convention. (+)

The DNC sought to avoid large scale wining and dining as happened in some of its convention site selection processes in the past. In 1998, for example, the DNC had a 49-member site advisory committee making visits.  For 2010 there are low key visits from a Technical Advisory Group and confidentiality agreements have kept the cities relatively quiet.  There was at least one bit of excitement: the St. Louis 2012 Convention Host Committee organized a concert
in support of its 2012 bid featuring Chuck Berry and Nelly  on July 29 at Kiener Plaza in downtown.

A group with the goal of "losing Minneapolis the 2012 DNC bid" held its first organizational meeting on June 10 in the basement of Walker Church and held more meetings, a small rally and a press conference in July seeking to "save the Twin Cities from another costly police riot."  NoDNC.org

Phoenix was reported to have submitted a bid but was not selected as a finalist; the controversy over SB 1070 may have hurt its cause (letter opposing Phoenix)


Phoenix Host Committee Logo Salt Lake City 2012 Host Committee logo Tampa-St. Petersburg 2012 logo
Aug. 14, 2009 RNC announces members of its Site Selection Committee responsible for making recommendations to the full RNC for the location of the 2012 Republican National Convention.

Aug. 2009 RNC sends letters to cities to determine interest in hosting the party's 2012 national convention. 

Nov. 10, 2009 RNC holds "interested cities day" in Washington, DC.  Representatives from cities meet with the Site Selection Committee and address questions and concerns. 

Jan. 15, 2010 Deadline for official convention bids. 

Feb. 26, 2010 Republican National Committee announces its Site Selection Committee will visit Phoenix, Tampa and Salt Lake City in late March and early April.

March 2, 2010 RNC announces 2012 Republican National Convention to be held the week of August 27.

March-April 2010
Site visits.  (Phoenix, March 25-27; Tampa-St. Petersburg, March 28-30; Salt Lake City, April 5-7).

May 12, 2010
At the RNC State Chairs meeting, the Site Selection Committee votes to recommend Tampa-St. Petersburg to host the 2012 Republican National Convention, pending the successful negotiation of the Site City Agreement.

July 15, 2010
Tampa City Council approves agreements with the Tampa Bay Host Committee.

Aug. 6, 2010
Full RNC unanimously approves selection of Tampa at Summer Meeting in Kansas City, MO.

For Tampa the third time was the charm; they also submitted bids in 2008 and 2004.

National conventions draw protesters, some seeking to focus on particular issues and others with more destructive objectives. "The Tampa Bay Action Group (TBAG), a decentralized collective of anarchists strewn throughout the urban and swampy reaches of Florida, is committed to making 2012 and the RNC in Tampa a truly catastrophic celebration of liberty and joy." Tampa Bay Action Group

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