Thirty years after Dallas hosted the 1984 Republican National Convention, the North Texas city is a finalist to bring the convention back in 2016.
The Republican National Convention's site selection committee announced Wednesday that either Dallas or Cleveland would host the convention. Denver and Kansas City were eliminated from consideration. The announcement did not say when the winning city would be chosen.
The Dallas host committee pulled out all the stops when the site selection committee visited the city this month. The Dallas committee's efforts included enlisting the help of live elephants to parade in front of American Airlines Center during the June 12 visit. The committee says $45 million has already been lined up for the event, compared with Cleveland’s $25 million. Dallas has pledged to raise $60 million for the RNC.
“Dallas is an ideal location for the 2016 convention because Texas is a national model for economic success and job growth,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said in a statement. “Not only is Dallas-Fort Worth home to 18 Fortune 500 companies, but Texas led the nation in job growth for the fourth straight year and Forbes just named Dallas as the fourth fastest growing city in America.”
The Republican National Convention is the presidential nominating convention for the Republican Party. The RNC drew nearly 50,000 people to in Tampa in 2012 when Mitt Romney was named the presidential candidate, and the 2016 convention is expected to draw a similar if not bigger crowd.