Will Cleveland bid for a political convention?

6:45 PM, Aug 23, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Last year in the wake of summer political conventions, there was a lot of buzz about Cleveland making a bid for one or both of the 2016 political conventions.

Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald was the chief cheerleader.

But seemingly little has been done in the public eye about the effort since then.

FitzGerald says behind-the-scenes discussions are taking place and that a decision will likely be made by the end of the year.

The city's in a much better position to make a case. It has a state of the art convention center that might be part of the event, and it will have a lot more downtown hotel rooms than it did in 2016, including a new supersize convention center hotel.

Both local political parties are strongly supportive of a convention bid. Chairmen Stuart Garson and Rob Frost are both upbeat, saying Cleveland remains the key city in the key county of key swing state Ohio.

Mayor Frank Jackson's team says, "We'll get back to you when there's something new to say."

But other cities have started to proclaim their "in it to win it" convention intentions.

Cleveland will have had practice hosting bigtime events including the Senior Games and Gay Olympics.

A convention brings a lot of free publicity, visitors and dollars. But there are also headaches and hassles.

And the business and civic leaders who would have to provide the money, time and energy to lead a convention bid may get the last word.


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