A Show-Me State I-70 Series Of National Political Conventions Possible in 2016
This weekend in Kansas City, the Missouri GOP is holding the Midwest Republican Leadership Conference at the Westin Crown Center. The buzz among attendees Friday afternoon was the good possibility that Kansas City will be chosen to hold the National Republican Convention in 2016, and that St. Louis is also under consideration in 2016 for the Democratic National Convention.
Reminiscent of the 1985 "I-70" World Series between the Kansas City Royals and the St. Louis Cardinals, this has officials at both ends of the state the St. Louis Dispatch writes, "fantasizing about what would be an unprecedented confluence of national political prestige and economic infusion for The Show-Me state."
Plainly speaking, the conventions would be a huge financial boon for Missouri's two largest cities and metropolitan areas.
It will be months before either national party begins in earnest the quadrennial hunt for convention venues. But Kansas City organizers already have laid significant groundwork, traveling to Boston last month to meet with national Republican Party officials and gathering local fundraising pledges.
“All we need is for the Republican National Committee to say ‘yes,’ and we’re ready to rock and roll,” Kansas City Mayor Sly James told an interviewer last month.
Kansas City's main competition in this bid is Las Vegas with its many great hotel and entertainment choices, but as Axiom Strategies notes, "the Republican Central Committee could choose to reinvigorate its base in a stronghold like Kansas, but still appeal to the swing-state voters in Missouri. What will bode best for the Republican Party will reveal itself in due time."
The Sprint Center would be an ideal convention hall and the new downtown trolley system could bring delegates to and fro to enjoy what the city has to offer.
St. Louis also has reason to be optimistic - it came close to getting the Democratic convention in 2012, and according to some accounts was the first runner-up to the eventual winner, Charlotte, N.C.
Now, as then, St. Louis has an abundance of hotel rooms to offer, as
well as plenty of potential venues: Busch Stadium, Scottrade Center, the
Edward Jones Dome, Forest Park and its various amenities, and the
Gateway Arch grounds.
The city also expects to have something to
offer this time that it didn’t have in 2012: a completely renovated
setting at the Arch, with a vast new park over I-70 to connect the Arch
grounds to downtown. The $380 million project, which officially broke
ground last month, is expected to be complete in October 2015.