A delegation began a visit to New York Monday to study the Big Apple’s bid to host the Democratic National Convention ahead of the 2016 presidential elections.
The 15-member delegation from the Democratic National Committee, greeted by dozens of people waving welcome signs, visited the Barclays Center in Brooklyn — an arena opened in 2012 that can accommodate 18,000 spectators — as part of their review process.
Four other cities are in the running to host the big political bash — traditionally held every four years when the parties officially nominate their presidential candidates — including Birmingham, Columbus, Phoenix and Philadelphia.
But New York officials stressed there’s no place like theirs to host the days-long event, marked by a slew of speeches, much fanfare and a massive media presence.
“The Big Apple is an unparalleled destination with the infrastructure and amenities needed to support an event of this magnitude,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Late last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed authorities “would move heaven and Earth” to get the gathering. The city last hosted a national convention — for the Republicans — in 2004.
The DNC delegation heads to Philadelphia later this week, which seems to be the top contender at this point.
A decision on the winning bid is not expected before the end of the year or early 2015. The date for the convention has also not been set.
The 2012 convention was held in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Last month, Republicans picked the rust-belt city of Cleveland, Ohio, for their convention.
Predominantly black and solidly Democratic, the Ohio city would seem an unlikely choice for the GOP.
But the city, which is gradually rebounding after years of post-industrial decline, is located in one of the most important US states when it comes to choosing the occupant of the White House.