SLC in the running to host 2016 Democratic National Convention

SALT LAKE CITY — It seems like the most unlikely place to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

But Salt Lake City, a blue dot in red state Utah, is a contender to host the Democratic party’s national convention. On Tuesday, the DNC confirmed that Salt Lake City is among 15 cities being considered as the site where the next Democratic presidential nominee would be chosen.

“Utah could be the next swing state,” said Matt Lyon, the executive director of the Utah Democratic Party.

The DNC asked the mayors of 15 cities to submit bids to host the party convention. Other cities include Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Miami, Las Vegas and Phoenix.

Salt Lake City has been considered in years past a potential site for the Republican National Convention.

Despite a lack of Democrats in Utah, the DNC is looking at cities with the capabilities of hosting a convention that would bring in tens of thousands. Lyon pointed to the Salt Palace, light rail and the pending convention center mega hotel as attractive incentives.

“Downtown really is the epicenter for Utah’s convention industry,” said Jason Mathis, the executive director of the Downtown Alliance.

Most recently, downtown Salt Lake City hosted more than 100,000 for Salt Lake Comic Con’s Fan-X.

But the Salt Lake County Mayor’s Office said a proposed convention center mega hotel may not be built in time. The Utah State Legislature backed funding for it, and a request for bids to build it is slated to go out in the next couple of months. Mayor Ben McAdams’ office said any convention hotel may not be completed until 2017.

“Money can probably solve lots of things,” said Mathis. “But I think it’s a long build out. We may have missed this time around for the convention center hotel.”

Mathis was optimistic. He said Utah could certainly consider either party’s convention for 2020 or 2024.

6 comments

  • Bitsko

    They want to spend HOW MUCH of our tax money so that the Democrats can have a fancy party?

    That’s a pretty good metaphor for their politics, actually.

    • Lauren

      Please study up on the convention hotel before you make these incorrect statements. NONE of the money being used for the hotel is tax money coming from Utah residence. More importantly no money is being given to build the hotel. Instead there is a promise to the hotel for a tax credit the first 10 years it is open to make sure it makes money. That tax credit money comes from taxes collected from Transient Room Tax from tourist staying in our hotel.

      In fact, you’re sorely mistaken because these 10 of thousands of democrats visiting Salt Lake will DECREASE your taxes buy spending money here.

      Read once and awhile.

      • Bob

        Lauren, don’t count your chickens before they hatch. Utahn’s have seen the incompetence of the Democrats and a convention by them in Salt Lake City won’t help save them.

        Let them go to Las Vegas where their motto is “what you do here stays here”.

  • Friends don't friends live in blue states...

    I lived through the DNC in Denver, please don’t bring it to SLC now…

  • Bob

    For Matt Lyon to suggest that “Utah could be the next swing state” is pure wishful thinking. We’ve seen Detroit after 50 years of Democrat control and want no part of it.

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