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Kansas City plans to bid for 2024 Republican National Convention

Trump says GOP is looking for new convention site
Posted at 5:31 PM, Oct 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-25 22:21:03-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City plans to bid for the 2024 Republican National Convention, Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas' office confirmed Monday.

Officials say the Republican National Committee contacted city officials in recent weeks asking for the city to submit a bid to host the political convention.

Kansas City submitted a bid and hosted an RNC delegation in 2014 in hopes of hosting the 2016 convention. The RNC eventually selected Cleveland to host the event which saw the nomination of the eventual 45th President of the United States Donald Trump.

While the convention is still three years away, the process will get moving quickly.

Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas told KSHB 41 News Monday night that hosting the convention is not about the politics, but "it's about business opportunity, it's about development for Kansas City."

"My view is regardless of the politics, it's important to create opportunities for hoteliers and restaurateurs, particularly those who were impacted by the pandemic over the last year and a half," Lucas said.

Lucas said he has been in touch with Missouri's lieutenant governor and Gov. Parson's office about the bid.

Sources say a delegation from Kansas City will travel to Washington, D.C. on Tuesday to meet with RNC officials. That delegation includes a representative from Visit KC as well as two others who were heavily involved in the 2016 bid.

During the Tuesday meeting, the delegation will make a presentation and take questions. Sources say the meeting is a chance for city officials to learn what the RNC wants in a host city and the costs associated with hosting.

One source says the city will then have until Dec. 1 to submit a formal bid.

That source added details from the 2016 bid will play a large role in the 2024 bid, but with updates to the investments the city has made in recent years. Those include the new terminal at Kansas City International airport that is expected to open in March 2023 and the new Loew's Convention Center hotel downtown Kansas City.

Those updates could help Kansas City’s case.

According to documents obtained by KSHB 41 News in 2014, then Mayor Sly James emailed the city’s RNC task force and said RNC officials were concerned about hotel space and the number of rooms in close proximity to the T-Mobile Center.

Just the addition of the 650,000 square foot Loew’s hotel boosts KC’s hotel stock by 800 rooms. In addition to that hotel, several others have opened downtown since KC submitted the 2016 bid.

According to Visit KC, there are a total of 21 hotel properties and 5,560 hotel rooms in the downtown loop, Crossroads and Crown Center areas.

That’s an increase of more than 1,500 hotel rooms since Kansas City submitted its bid in 2014 and about a 1,300 room increase since 2016.

Visit KC also said that the five-county metro area contains 31,000 hotel rooms, and the whole metropolitan statistical area puts the city at just over 36,000 rooms.

KSHB 41 has reached out to the Republican National Committee for comment.