Nashville will bid to host both the Republican and Democratic national conventions for the 2024 election cycle.
Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. CEO Butch Spyridon said Monday it will bid on both conventions at the “request of and support from the Governor’s Office.”
“The NCVC’s primary role is to book convention business for Nashville without bias,” Spyridon said in an emailed statement. “We work daily with clients to book conventions and with individuals who want assistance in recruiting meetings and events. It’s not appropriate for the NCVC to pick and choose which groups get to meet in Nashville.”
NCVC confirmed Monday it submitted a response to the Republican National Committee’s request for proposals on Dec. 8, and requested an RFP from the Democratic National Committee on Nov. 2.
“We’ve got a lot to show off in Tennessee and are always willing to play host,” Casey Black, Lee’s press secretary, said in an email Monday. “We’d be glad to welcome either party’s convention to Nashville.
Tennessee Republicans in 2017 courted RNC officials for early consideration for the 2020 convention, but Nashville ultimately decided not to proceed in 2018. In 2020, Nashville was in the mix as the RNC scrambled to find a last-minute host city amid a stand-off with North Carolina over restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Major convention events, slated to move to Jacksonville, Florida, were later canceled.
As RNC leaders planned to visit Nashville, some city leaders expressed concerns over cost and safety as the search for a new location occurred just months into the pandemic on a short timeline. A spokesperson for Mayor John Cooper said the city had no plans to use its “limited public funds” to recruit the convention at the time.
Cooper’s office has not yet returned request for comment regarding the 2024 conventions.
Political conventions are mammoth undertakings for host cities, which must be able to accommodate thousands in appropriate meeting spaces and hotel rooms. Philadelphia, host of the 2016 Democratic National Convention, estimated 50,000 visitors descended on the city, which also drew thousands for political demonstrations.
Economic researchers in Ohio, where the 2016 Republican convention was hosted in Cleveland, found the convention resulted in $142 to $188 million in economic impact for the city, depending on the study. Organizers spent more than $110 million, WKYC reported in 2017.
Reach Melissa Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.