Birmingham Hopes to Land 2016 Democratic National Convention



Birmingham's DNC Convention Pitch Party at Iron City, Monday, July 21. Photo by Kyle Whitmire.


Birmingham is trying to land its biggest prize in years: The 2016 Democratic National Convention. Members from the Democratic National Committee began a two-day tour of the city on Monday. They're meeting with local promoters and scouting locations to see if Birmingham could support a convention the size of the DNC.

In addition to Birmingham, the party is also considering Columbus, Ohio; New York, Philadelphia, and Phoenix.

"Hosting a party convention is a true honor and we're thrilled with all the fantastic options that we have going into the next cycle," Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a statement to MSNBC, adding, "We look forward to evaluating these bids and selecting a city to host this special gathering of Democrats."

The committee plans to select a site for the DNC no later than the beginning of next year.

Members of the Democratic National Committee arrived to the Magic city on Monday morning for a two-day visit around Alabama's largest city. The mayor's office is in charge of the city's bid.

Last night they attended a "Pitch Party" at one of Birmingham's newest venues, Iron City. Birmingham Mayor William Bell was in attendance, along with the Birmingham City Council. Amy Dacey is CEO of the Democratic National Committee. She told al.com she saw the passion and pride Birmingham has to offer, and added she's very excited to be visiting the city.

The committee plans to stay in town through Tuesday night. They plan on taking a look at Regions field as well as other popular Birmingham sites.

The city has asked local downtown businesses and projects for recommendations on where to bring the committee over the course of the two-day visit.

Atticus Rominger from REV Birmingham said some of their suggestions included local public and private projects.

"Were gonna want them to see some of the major not only public but the private projects that are underway downtown," said Rominger. "Everything from Rotary Trail to the Pizitz building that will be coming on line by 2016."

Area promoters will meet with national representatives to discuss logistical needs such as hotels and arena space.

Stops along the way may include Barber Motorsports Museum and Park, which is a regular stop when the city is promoting itself for perspective businesses or to host conferences. No other stops have been made public.

Rominger is optimistic about Birmingham's chances. "We have an intimate flavor and a flair that is missing in some of those cities. That might give us a leg up to host a future event," he said.


~ Rebecca Farmer, July 22, 2014