Even for a place that hosted four Super Bowls, a World Series and the Stanley Cup, next year's Republican National Convention is a big deal. "A Super Bowl on steroids," said Chuck Black, chairman of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.
The bay area is flexing its big-game muscles for an event expected to draw 50,000 people and a worldwide audience next August, a week before the Democratic convention in North Carolina, reports The Charlotte Observer's Jim Morrill. The cities are the smallest convention hosts since Atlantic City in 1964, but the sites aren't a coincidence. Florida and North Carolina are key tossups in next year's presidential race, and the conventions could boost each candidate's fortunes in the host state.
Beyond politics, both cities are counting not only on the exposure but on more than $150 million in expected economic benefits to lift areas still mired in double-digit unemployment. As in Charlotte, Tampa organizers are deep into planning for the four-day event that starts Aug. 27. And like their Democratic counterparts, the Republicans are mum about many details. Read more here.