The RNC announced Wednesday that Dallas and Cleveland are the two remaining cities after the RNC’s site selection committee visited all of the finalists in June. The committee also visited Denver and Kansas City.
"Cleveland and Dallas demonstrated their ability to host a phenomenal convention in 2016," said site selection committee chairwoman Enid Mickelsen in a statement. "These world class cities know how to roll out the welcome mat."
The price tag to host the convention is $60 million, with Dallas bid organizers saying $45 million of it has already been committed. That's more than any of the other competing cities.
The RNC’s site selection committee visited in mid-June and examined potential host site, American Airlines Center, and were shown around downtown Dallas by local officials to show what a convention could look like.
RNC officials watched a video inside the AAC on the big screens that highlighted past conventions that included confetti, a balloon drop and live music.
“I think the emphasis that we made on a tight hotel package, with all the hotel rooms within 1.1 miles of the American Airlines Center, our location in the central part of the country, with great airlift, with both DFW Airport and Love Field, were very, very important factors,” said Phillip Jones with the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said during the visit that Dallas’ advantages are safety, financial resources, convenience with two airports and Dallas' high profile image.
What could hurt Dallas are available dates. With the possibility of a Mavericks or Stars playoff run, and with Dallas hotels booked in June, the only availability would be July 18 through 21.
“We're offering July dates, and Cleveland is offering June and July dates,” said Jones. “If they select based on June dates, that's something we have no control over.”
What won’t matter is that Ohio is a swing state.
“I think they tried that strategy the last three or four times and it hasn't worked so well,” said Jones.
A final decision will be announced sometime in early August. The convention would be held in June or July 2016.