Next year, Cleveland will host the Republican National Convention. More than 50,000 visitors, delegates and media are expected to visit the city.
There's a lot of work to get ready for the convention, like the Public Square renovation and the Hilton Hotel construction. But there is much more work going on behind the scenes that is not obvious, but just as important, according to County Executive Armond Budish.
"The construction is on time and on budget," Budish said.
At a briefing, Budish and others revealed progress in convention preparations. 4,000 more rooms have been secured, bringing the number to 12,000.
3,000 more are needed.
Committee members continue to be impressed with what they saw here during their site search and what they continue to see.
"People. The hospitality, the energy and the can-do attitude," RNC's Steve King said.
It is thought a quarter-billion dollars will be spent here preparing for and hosting the convention. $39 million of the $50 million local commitment has been secured. There are currently 10 GOP staffers in town. That number will be 130 by next spring.
The approach is simple: the Republicans will run the convention with Cleveland's advance people greasing the skids.
According to host committee president David Gilbert, "It's their job to coordinate and run the convention and it's our job to work with them to make sure we are prepared as a city and present everything to them that they need to make sure the convention goes off flawlessly."
The convention will play to an audience only surpassed by the Olympics, but it will take more IT and data upgrades than the Olympics.
Speaking of sports, the Indians will be scheduled out of town during the two weeks of the convention. However, if the Cavs make the NBA Finals again it could get dicey. King joked, "if the Cavs win the Finals in 4 games we'll be fine."
The 2016 Republican National Convention will be held July 18-21, 2016 in Cleveland. The main venue will be Quicken Loans Arena. Cleveland beat out Cincinnati, Columbus, Denver, Dallas, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Dallas to secure the convention.