Pennsylvania Convention Center Board Backs Effort to Attract the 2016 Democratic National Convention to Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (March 28, 2014) – The Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority (PCCA) voted today to support efforts to attract the 2016 Democratic National Convention to the City of Philadelphia. Recognizing the tremendous regional economic impact and civic benefits of hosting the convention, the Board authorized the authority’s President and CEO John J. McNichol to work with the non-partisan coalition that is preparing a comprehensive bid and support the initiative by enhancing the overall bid package to host the 2016 DNC in Philadelphia. The Board is a bipartisan organization made up of individuals from the City of Philadelphia and surrounding suburban counties.

The Democratic National Convention was last held in Philadelphia in July 1948 at Convention Hall, when President Harry S. Truman was nominated for a full term. The 2000 Republican National Convention was held at the First Union Center in Philadelphia prior to the recent expansion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

“Hosting the 2016 Democratic National Convention presents a unique opportunity to showcase Philadelphia and the region to a national and international audience as an innovative, energetic, and diverse city,” said Josh Shapiro, Vice Chairman of the PCCA Board of Directors and a member of the planning committee for the Philadelphia 2016 bid. “The Pennsylvania Convention Center was built to attract major conventions such as the 2016 DNC and, as host, our region will benefit from the creation of new jobs, new visitor spending, and new business and economic development opportunities.”

The economic and other benefits of hosting the 2016 DNC would include:

• An injection of substantial visitor spending at area hotels, restaurants and other local businesses by an estimated 30,000 to 35,000 delegates, national and international media, key political and policy leaders, and others;
• The generation of significant room bookings at the region’s hotels – the 2000 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia generated 15,000 room nights at its peak in Center City hotels and 101,250 total room nights for the duration of the convention;
• Recent conventions have resulted in $150 million to $250 million in economic impact – the 2000 Republican National Convention generated nearly $90 million;
• The creation of family sustaining jobs in construction and other services during the two years leading up to the convention and during the convention week;
• Unprecedented national and international media exposure to Philadelphia as a great place to live, work, and visit which will help attract new businesses, families and leisure customers to the region.

“The Board is excited by the city’s prospects of hosting the 2016 Democratic National Convention and we want to support the bi-partisan efforts to attract this major event,” said Greg Fox, Chairman of the PCCA Board of Directors. “Philadelphia and the region have a lot to offer, including our newly expanded state-of-the-art convention center; a plethora of high-quality event and dining venues; new modern hotel rooms that exceed convention needs; an incredible selection of world-class museums, theaters, and historical sites; and convenient access to the city’s downtown area by both air and train. Just as important, the city has a proven track record of successfully attracting and hosting similar large events such as the 2000 Republican National Convention and the upcoming World Meeting of Families in 2015 which may include a visit by Pope Francis.”

About the Pennsylvania Convention Center
The Pennsylvania Convention Center is located in Philadelphia, the “cradle of liberty” and the birthplace of the United States. Located in Center City, the Convention Center is situated at the center of the city’s many cultural offerings and world-class dining and entertainment scene. In December 2013, SMG, the nation’s leader in public facility management, assumed responsibility for managing the Convention Center. A $787 million renovation and expansion of the Center, which received a Gold-level LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, was completed in 2011, increasing its size by 62 percent. The Center is now the 14th largest facility in the nation and features the largest exhibit space and ballroom in the Northeast. The newly renovated Center has won numerous awards and recognition, including a designation as the Best Government/Public Building of 2011 by the Engineering News Record of New York. For more information, visit www.paconvention.com.

Contact:
Deirdre Childress Hopkins
Pennsylvania Convention Center/SMG
215-418-4754
dhopkins@paconvention.com

Pete Peterson
Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority
215-893-4297
ppeterson@bellevuepr.com