Mayor says she wants GOP Convention, but only for a million dollars by Mitch E. Perry

06/09/06

On Monday, organizers trying to bring the Republican National Convention to Tampa allowed reporters to see their bid submitted to the Republican National Committee.
According to the Convention Host Committee, it would cost a total of $124 million dollars.

According to the breakdown, the City of Tampa’s cut of that would be $12.7 million dollars. But on Tuesday Mayor Pam Iorio told the St. Petersburg Times that the city would spend no more than $1 million dollars to help bring the RNC to Tampa, which would take place the first week of September of 2008.

Questions have been raised about that seeming inconsistency. So today, WMNF spoke to the Mayor about the bid (roll tape#1 o.q.�in the region�)

Wednesday’s headline in the Times “Price of Bid to lure GOP Shocks Iorio�, seemed to indicate that the $12.7 million dollar figure listed by the Convention Host Committee stunned the Mayor…. SO WMNF asked: Was there miscommunication between the Mayor and the Committee? Iorio says no (roll tape#2 o.q.� to spend on it�)

Karen Brand is the Vice President of Communications with the Tampa Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau. She agrees with the Mayor in that the $12.7 million dollar figure is NOT an expectation of what the City of Tampa needs to raise for the bid (roll tape#3 o.q.�to the bid document�)

As has been reported on, there were fewer cities this year bidding for both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions for ’08. The specter of mass protests, and the costs that it would entail, are not desired by some local governments.

Last year Tampa was awarded the Super Bowl in 2009, the 4th time America’s premier sporting event will be held in the City. Mayor Iorio says the city is willing to spend the same amount of money to woo the Republican Convention as they did in getting the NFL Championship game. WMNF asked Mayor Iorio if she thinks its worth having the convention in Tampa ? (roll tape#4 o.q.�pushing for it�)

Al Austin, the Chairman of Tampa’s Convention host committee, told the St. Petersburg Times that he has promised the Mayor he would NOT create any extraordinary costs for the city, adding “And if things worked out where she had problems, I’d work with her to resolve them�.

Karen Brand, spokeswoman for the Convention Committee,says the important point is that the Host Committee has always intended to raise as much money for the Convention as needed, but also wants to find as many places to offset those costs as possible (roll tape#5 o.q.�these types of entities�)

Tampa is vying for the 2008 Convention with New York, Cleveland and Minneapolis.

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