Philadelphia’s quest for the 2016 Democratic National Convention is under way in earnest.
At the Independence Beer Garden across from the Liberty Bell Thursday afternoon, officials discussed details of the Democratic Convention Committee’s site visit set for next week.
Former Gov. Ed Rendell is heading up the effort.
“We get behind efforts like this because we love our city and we’re proud of all the things we have. Now I understand the five contenders are Birmingham, Alabama, Phoenix, Arizona, Columbus Ohio, Brooklyn, New York, and Philadelphia,” said Rendell. “And they are all great cities, and we don’t want to disparage any of them, but we believe we are the best.”
The city is raising just under $1 million for the first phase of the competition, said Mayor Michael Nutter.
“There’s the bid phase, we’re in that now,” he said. “If and when you win, then you launch into, of course, a much larger phase. But we’re in the bid phase now, and certainly well into getting the dollars we need for that.”
During the committee’s visit next week, its members will see things they won’t see in any of the other contenders for the 2016 nominating convention, Nutter promised.
“Obviously, we are going to show them a really really good time, but they want to know about logistics,” he said. “They want to know about buses, about how you get to the venue, and how walkable and how easy it is to get around Philadelphia — and the historic things that are here you can’t see anywhere else.”
The city hosted the Republican National Convention in they year 2000 to good reviews. If the city is selected to host the Democrats, it will have to come up with $60 million to $70 million in contributions to stage the event.