Columbus Submits Bid To Host 2016 Republican National Convention


Central Ohio has sent Republican Party leaders in Washington, DC, a message:  We want your convention and we’re willing to put it in writing.

"The mayor is leading the charge," said Brian Ross, executive director of Experience Columbus.  "The county officials are also with us.  We have the business community, and I know we have the residents who will support this."

Ross says Coleman has made landing either the Republican or Democratic convention a top priority this year.

He estimates the city and businesses will need around $55 million in up-front costs to land a convention that could generate up to $200 million in revenue.

Arena District businesses are used to big crowds.

Most of them knew today about the Columbus push to land a political convention.

"We're excited and ready for the opportunity," said Tim Emery, owner of Boston's. "I think it creates a lot of exposure for Columbus that I don't think there's any other way you can get that kind of exposure."

Boston's sits directly across from Nationwide Arena.  If a national political convention comes here, this location will be front and center.

Today Experience Columbus delivered a 137 page bid to the Republican National Committee for the 2016  Convention.

The bid is confidential, but we have learned that it contains a promise of 16,000 first class hotel rooms.

Nationwide Arena will be the host site.

And the convention center will be home to thousands of journalists.

"I know we're ready," said Ian Boyland, assistant general manager at Barley's.  "You build a city and an entertainment district and all the things we have in Columbus to attract people to come.  This is one of things you really want to get ahold of."

Recent conventions have generated up to $200 million dollars in revenue.

In addition to world wide publicity that's hard to put a number on.

For central Ohio's bid, officials believe they have a hidden ace up their sleeve.

The possibility of moving the Republican nominee out of Nationwide Arena and have them accept the nomination at the 'Shoe at Ohio State University - arguably the most recognized venue in Ohio.

Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver and Kansas City have all submitted bids too.

Sources at the Republican National Committee tell 10TV that Columbus has a shot, especially considering that central Ohio often determines which way the state tips in national elections.

If Columbus makes the final list, a GOP convention committee will visit in early April to check out the area.