Could Pittsburgh Handle Hosting 2016 Democratic National Convention?
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pittsburgh is one name that continues to come up as a host city for the Democratic National Convention in 2016.
Mayor Bill Peduto said a lot has to happen for it to become a reality.
“Pittsburgh is one of a little over a dozen cities that are being considered for the Democratic National Convention, but we have to make sure that it does more than just raises our media exposure,” Peduto said.
A couple of months ago, Pittsburgh was one of about three dozen names being tossed about. Now, Peduto says things are a bit more serious.
“We want to make sure it has an economic benefit to this city and to this region. That’s why we will be working with our County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, our congressman Mike Doyle, Visit Pittsburgh and a number of different organizations. So, at the end of the day, it’s not just a bill being handed to the city for that exposure, but an economic benefit as well,” Peduto said.
One of the big questions is can Pittsburgh handle an event of this magnitude, not only with convention space, but hotel rooms as well?
“Charlotte is one of our competitors, our major competitor, so we compete with them on other pieces of business. So, we believe that if Charlotte can handle a piece of business, we certainly have the facilities,” Jason Fulvi of Visit Pittsburgh said.
Even if the DNC determines Pittsburgh fits the bill, the mayor says the financial issues cannot be ignored.
“We are a city that is in distress status. We have a structural deficit. We have streets and public safety that we have to be able to take care of and there has to be a way to make sure that the city is kept whole and that there is an economic development benefit to the hospitality industry as well,” Peduto said.