I know the locations for the 2008 conventions won’t be set until probably 2006. However, no harm in trying to predict in advance. There are very few cities in the US which can handle a political convention. The city needs to have a suitable arena as well as a sufficient number of hotel rooms close to the arena.
I doubt the Northeast will get a convention as Boston (2004 Dem), Philadelphia (2000 Rep), and New York(2004 Rep 1992 Dem) have all hosted conventions recently. I doubt **Pittsburgh ** is large enough to handle a convention
Houston (1992 Rep), Dallas (1988 Rep), ** Atlanta ** (1988 Dem), and **New Orleans ** (1988 Rep) have hosted conventions recently. I can see Tampa or Miami being a very strong favorite to get a Republican convention. Both cities are large enough, have good air service (multiple airports) and are located in the crucial battleground of Florida
Atlanta could also have a chance a getting a convention again.
A long shot would be** San Antonio**, Texas. San Antonio is a major business trade show location and would be popular with the delegates. However, it is brutally hot in the summer. Dallas or Houston would probably have a chance at a convention if Bush wins in 2004.
Somehow, I don’t see a return to **New Orleans ** anytime soon. Louisiana is not a Republican lock and isn’t enough of a major state.
Chicago (1996 Dem) is the only Midwestern convention site in recent years. Detroit and **Kansas City ** hosted the 1980 and 1976 Republican conventions respectively.
I can see Minneapolis having a good shot at the Dem convention. They’ve never hosted a major political convention. I believe there would probably be an adequate number of hotel rooms within close range of the Target Center.
**St. Louis ** and **Kansas City ** would be long shots for a convention. I believe they will probably suffer from too much sprawl and not enough of a downtown hotel/restaurant scene for the mass of delegates and media. Ditto that for Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis.
Los Angeles ** (2000 Dem) and San Diego ** (1996 Rep) have hosted recent conventions.
I don’t see **San Francisco ** getting a convention due to lack of an arena to host it in. The Cow Palace is probably not sufficient for a 2008 convention. Perhaps the Oakland Arena? I’m sure the Dems would love to hold a convention in San Francisco, but I just don’t see it happening with the current infrastructure.
**Seattle ** is probably on a short list for a Dem convention. The WTO riots may have hurt the city’s image too much, however.
**Denver ** could host either a Rep or Dem convention. I think the only potential drawback would be the city’s relative isolation from most of the US. Denver is at least 500 miles from most centers of population.
**Phoenix ** may suffer from not having enough hotel space downtown for a convention. Phoenix is also extremely hot during July/August.
**Salt Lake ** hosted an excellent Olympics, but I just can’t see the Republicans hosting a convention there.
There is no way on earth **Las Vegas ** will ever see a political convention. I also doubt that **Honolulu ** will see a convention due to the remoteness of the location and the time differences the mainland US.
**Portland ** and **Albuquerque ** are just too small for a convention.
So, where do you think the 2008 conventions will be held? Go ahead and make the case for your favorite city!