Kansas City officially submits bid for 2016 Republican convention

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A task force aiming to land the 2016 Republican National Convention in Kansas City delivered its official proposal to the party with a flourish on Wednesday, complete with a slickly produced YouTube video, handcrafted wooden boxes for delivery and new iPads for reading the digital version of the completed request for proposal.

"If this is the send-off we give your proposal, imagine the welcome we will give your guests," concludes the YouTube video, which shows Mayors Sly James and Mark Holland signing the proposal and handing it off to a mock-security convoy in downtown Kansas City for transport to Washington.

The details of Kansas City's bid are a closely guarded secret, as the metro is expected to be in tight competition with a presumed top-tier of cities that include Denver, Phoenix and Las Vegas. Officials from the mayors office, the KCCVA, and the bid committee itself have all declined to release information on how much money Kansas City's task force has raised for an event that will likely cost between $50 and $60 million in private funds.

The GOP's request for proposal asked detailed questions of prospective host cities; inquiring about hotel space, restaurants, facilities, transportation and many other logistical issues.

The Sprint Center would host the actual convention, with media likely staged at the convention center downtown. The downtown Marriott would likely be the hotel used by the nominee and his or her state's delegation. Specific plans for transportation, security and housing of tens of thousands of delegates and media remain unreleased.

The process of selecting a host city now accelerates. GOP officials said staff members will first review RFP's submitted by today's deadline.

Beginning this weekend, the RNC's site selection committee will gather in Washington to review the proposals, and on Monday, delegations from bidding cities will make formal presentations to the group.

Mayors Sly James and Mark Holland, along with several members of Kansas City's congressional delegation will present to the RNC on Monday, a bid committee spokesperson told 41 Action News.

From there, RNC officials say they will winnow the bidding cities down to a shorter list of cities they will visit in March and April. The committee will make its recommendations to the RNC in May, which will formally select a city in August.

Members of the site selection committee tell 41 Action News so far there is no clear favorite among cities assumed to be bidding. They also say logistical concerns -- hotels, travel time for delegates and fundraising ability -- will take precedence over the perceived political value of locating the convention in a swing state.

"When push comes to shove, that isn't why people vote," one site selection committee member said.

That could help Kansas City's bid, since neither Kansas nor Missouri are expected to be competitive states in 2016.

"The goal of the convention is to help us elect the nominee," one site selection committee member said Tuesday. "Everything else is entertainment."
 

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