The last time Kansas City, MO hosted the Republican National convention was in 1976 when Ronald Reagan unsuccessfully attempted to oust the nomination from President Gerald Ford.
Kansas City, Missouri has officially submitted a bid to host the 2016 Republican National Convention. The bid was submitted to the GOP’s site-selection committee on Wednesday February 26, 2014. Kansas City’s bid task force released a set of images and a video revealing what was sent to the Republican National Committee. The images show a pair of graphic interpretations of Bartle Hall and Sprint Center dressed up for the convention and a wooden box emblazoned with the convention’s logo.
The video features Kansas City, MO Mayor Sly James and Kansas City, KS mayor Mark Holland signing the city’s response to the request for proposal and then boarding an aircraft at Charles B. Wheeler airport in downtown Kansas City, MO.
A spokeswoman for the Kansas City bid task force, Julie Sally, described the bid materials to the Kansas City Business Journal, “The bid documents were submitted in a handmade wooden box. That box contained a hard copy of the bid documents; a notebook with handwritten notes from local leaders; campaign buttons; maps of the metro area laying out the location of hotels, transportation system and area attractions; and an iPad with an electronic version of the bid document and an album of photos taken in Kansas City.”
Mayor James commented on Twitter about how much of the bid’s cost will be covered by local taxpayers. According to James the money for the convention is being raised by a private organization. Most of the city’s expense will be in the form of in-kind contributions. He also pointed out that the Kansas City Police Department appeared in the video as part of its routine practice for a presidential style motorcade.
Helen Van Etten is the Republican National Committeewoman from Kansas. According to Kansas City Business Journal, “she expects that the GOP will ask the cities that sent in a bid to make a live pitch to the RNC’s site-selection committee in Washington between March 3 and March 5. After that, the RNC and the committee will review the bid documents to see whether the cities meet the requirements for lodging, transportation, convention and office space, cultural amenities and — most important — fundraising.”
According to Van Etten, who was on the site-selection committee in 2012, the committee will visit all the cities that submitted a qualified bid in March and April. The Republican National Convention will announce its choice during its Spring meetings in Memphis this Spring, May 7-10.
The RNC has received more bids for the 2016 convention than they have for other conventions in the past. The Associated Press reports that the competition, “includes the tourist destinations of Las Vegas and New Orleans, the southern hotspots of Dallas and Phoenix and other cities such as Denver with more recent political conventions on their resumes.”
City officials, business owners, and residents all feel the same way about getting the convention. Troy Stremming, a local casino executive who is also co-chairman of the Kansas City RNC 2016 Task Force, told The Associated Press, “We are a city that really wants this convention,” said Stremming, “It’s not just another convention of 50,000 participants in the city of Las Vegas, it would be THE convention for Kansas City and this region.”