From September 1-4, 2008, an anticipated 45,000 delegates, alternate delegates, party officials, volunteers, members of the media, and convention guests will gather in Minneapolis-Saint Paul for the 2008 Republican National Convention. The host cities will be showcased on an international level as the Republican Party highlights its strong principles - and nominates the next President of the United States.
The Republican National Committee's Committee on Arrangements (COA) is charged with the planning and management of the 2008 Republican National Convention. RNC Co-Chairman Jo Ann Davidson is Chairman of the COA and Maria Cino is the COA President and CEO. The COA and the 2008 Minneapolis-Saint Paul Host Committee are working together to plan every aspect of the four-day event. In addition, COA staff is working closely with Governor Tim Pawlenty, Senators Norm Coleman and Amy Klobuchar, Mayors R.T. Rybak (Minneapolis), Chris Coleman (Saint Paul), and Gene Winstead (Bloomington), and the Convention and Visitors Bureaus.
There are currently two dozen convention staffers in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area who are living, dining and shopping locally, and that number will eventually grow to more than 140. Convention staff is working closely with law enforcement personnel from all levels of government to ensure a safe and successful event, and every possible effort is being made to keep local merchants open for business and area traffic running smoothly.
As preparations have begun in earnest, the Minneapolis-Saint Paul business community is reaping the benefits of the 2008 Republican National Convention - and that trend will surely continue. The host cities are projected to receive an estimated $150-$160 million positive economic boost from the convention. Convention staff is in the process of contracting with the nearly 100 hotels and nearly 50 venues throughout Saint Paul, Minneapolis, and Bloomington that will host convention guests and official events. The Xcel Energy Center and the Saint Paul RiverCentre convention center, among others, have already been secured.
2008 will mark the second time the Republican Party has convened in Minnesota. Minneapolis hosted the 10th Republican National Convention in 1892, where Republicans nominated Benjamin Harrison. This time around, for the 39th national convention, Minnesota is home to many rising stars in the party, including Governor Pawlenty and Senator Coleman.
The 2008 Republican National Convention is the latest nominating convention in history - and it is certain to be a pivotal event in the presidential election. From Minneapolis-Saint Paul, it will be full steam ahead to November 4, 2008, for the party's nominee.