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PR- 292-06
August 15, 2006


New York City Welcomes Republican National Committee Site Selection Committee

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg welcomed the Republican National Committee (RNC) Site Selection Committee to New York City this evening.  The City will play host to the 9-member committee for a 3-day tour that includes a taste of the best that New York City has to offer in hospitality, dining and entertainment.  During their visit, the RNC Site Selection Committee will assess the City’s bid to host the 2008 Republican National Convention, which will include a thorough review of plans for transportation, security, hotels and its convention complex – the world famous Madison Square Garden.  New York City’s Host Committee for the Republican National Convention is chaired by James Ortenzio, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of New York Republican County Committee.  The RNC is expected to make a decision about the Host City by January 2007.

“My administration learned a great deal from hosting the Republican National Convention at Madison Square Garden, and we will utilize that experience to plan, organize and execute an even more successful Convention in 2008,” Mayor Bloomberg said.  “In addition, New York City offers resources that are unmatched by any city in the nation.  When it comes to security, I am proud to say that New York is the safest big city in America, and we have the experience and resources to provide the most secure and well-protected convention site in the nation.”
“As a proud Republican and New Yorker, it is my honor to serve as Chair of the NYC Host Committee for the 2008 Republican National Convention,” said Ortenzio.  “Building off the success of 2004, the Republican Party could do no better than selecting New York City.  No other city can match New York’s energy, history, commerce and diversity.”

The committee members will arrive Tuesday evening and travel via double-decker bus from their hotel to a welcome dinner at the Mayor’s residence.  On their second day, the RNC Site Selection Committee will hear presentations on the City’s plan for media hospitality given by Deputy Mayor for Government Affairs Kevin Sheekey, and take a tour of Madison Square Garden’s facilities led by MSG officials. 

“Madison Square Garden was privileged to be the home of the 2004 Republican National Convention, which was one of the most memorable political events in our illustrious history,” said MSG Vice-Chairman Hank J. Ratner.  “We enjoyed working with our colleagues at the Republican National Committee and would be honored to join the Mayor and his team in working to bring the Republican convention back to New York.”

After touring MSG, the Committee members will convene for lunch for a series of presentations by City officials, which will be led by Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding Daniel L. Doctoroff.  That evening, the RNC Committee Members will depart Manhattan for the Bronx where they will enjoy a Yankees game and dinner courtesy of George Steinbrenner.  The committee members’ visit will conclude on Thursday with a breakfast at Gracie Mansion.

In 2004, NYC’s hosting of the Republican National Convention resulted in an estimated economic impact on New York City’s economy of $255 million.  In the City’s 2008 Bid, the Host Committee has committed to privately raise funds totaling $70 million and the City of New York will provide $7.35 million, including in-kind City services toward the Convention.  New York City is one of four cities competing for the 2008 Convention; the other cities are Cleveland, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Tampa/St. Petersburg.

Highlights of the City’s bid proposal to the RNC about why New York City is the best choice for the 2008 Convention include:

  • Experience:  Two of the last eight presidential conventions have been held in the Big Apple and the Bloomberg Administration has had first-hand experience in planning, organizing and executing a successful convention.
  • Security:  New York offers resources unmatched by any city in the nation.  It is the safest big city in America, and it possesses the experience and resources to provide the most secure and well-protected convention site in the nation.  The NYPD is the largest police force in the nation with over 36,000 uniformed police officers and upwards of 10,000 civilian members.  Its size allows the NYPD to implement the highest security measures during the Convention period without compromising police coverage of the rest of the City.
  • Transportation:  New York’s transit system is the most extensive and efficient in the nation, serving more than 2.5 billion people annually.  The intra-city system features more than 30 subway and commuter railroad lines and more than 200 bus routes, offering delegates fast, easy and affordable transportation throughout the City.
  • Convention Complex:   The world-famous Madison Square Garden (MSG) is one of the nation’s most technically modern arenas, offering state-of-the-art technical capacity, optimal design for television coverage, and convenient proximity to transit hubs, hotels, restaurants, stores, theaters, and a variety of other attractions.  MSG benefits from superb facilities, a sense of intimacy, and an incredible tradition of hosting remarkable events.
  • Lodging:  New York City welcomed over 41 million visitors from around the globe in 2005, and is home to more than 230 hotels with over 71,000 hotel rooms.
  • Technology:  New York is the media and technology capital of the nation and offers one of the world’s most extensive communications infrastructure - from Wall Street’s global trading systems to the satellite linkages of the broadcasters.  More top corporations operate their headquarters in New York than anywhere else.  NBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox are headquartered here, and the three network morning programs broadcast live from studios overlooking the City’s streets.  Seven of the top 20 cable networks are also located here.
  • Support:  New York has the ability to assemble a powerful coalition of labor unions, business leaders, and government entities who are committed to making the 2008 Convention a grand success.

New York City hosted a tremendously successful Republican National Convention in 2004.  It was the first Republican convention to be held in New York City and was attended by over 60,000 visitors.  Over the past forty years, three presidents have won election having accepted their party’s nomination in New York City.  After accepting the Republican nomination at Madison Square Garden in 2004, George W. Bush won reelection as the 43rd President of the United States.


Stu Loeser/Jennifer Falk   (212) 788-2958


Aaron McLear (RNC)   (202) 841-0614

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