SBD/August 8, 2014/Facilities

Columbus Leaders Highlight Local Sports Venues In Pitch To DNC For '16 Convention

Columbus is one of five cities trying to land the '16 DNC, so civic leaders on Thursday gave site selectors a tour of Ohio Stadium, where locals tried to "sell Democrats on the idea of their presidential nominee ... accepting the nomination in front of 100,000 people," according to Joe Vardon of the COLUMBUS DISPATCH. Ohio State AD Gene Smith: "I was going to go get (Buckeyes football coach) Urban Meyer, put him in my car, and have him spend 5 minutes with (site selectors) at the stadium." Smith said that Meyer "was going to be a part of the Democrats’ tour of Ohio Stadium, but as of now likely won’t be because the time of the tour was switched from the morning to the afternoon, when Meyer’s team will be practicing." When Cleveland "wooed Republican site selectors in June, the city’s 'wow' moment was a surprise visit during dinner" by Browns QB Johnny Manziel, head coach Mike Pettine and other Browns rookies. Columbus' courtship of the DNC started Wednesday, when selectors "were treated to pedicab rides into a morning pep rally with about 1,000 people outside of Nationwide Arena ... followed by a tour of the arena, a luncheon and viewing of other sites around Columbus." Following Wednesday’s rally and Nationwide Arena tour, Democrats "had a sports-themed lunch." Guests "included local sports legends Buster Douglas and Jimmy Jackson, as well as Ohio State’s Smith" (DISPATCH.com, 8/7). The DISPATCH's Vardon notes, "As of now, Ohio State opens the 2016 football season on Sept. 3 at home against Bowling Green, so conflicts over hotel rooms and stadium availability probably would be avoided if the Democrats pick Columbus" (DISPATCH.com 8/8).

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