Mayor Michael Nutter joined former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and Democratic U.S. Rep. Bob Brady at a rally Thursday to drum up support for Philadelphia’s bid to host the Democratic National Convention.
The event held in a beer garden near Independence Hall outlined details of next week’s site visit by the Democratic National Committee. About 20 members of the DNC Site Committee will come to Philadelphia next Wednesday and Thursday to discuss the city’s effort to host the convention.
Though members of the site committee will be assessing the city’s ability to host the event that would bring tens of thousands of people here, Nutter said they also will get a chance to visit some of its historic attractions.
“They are going to see things you can’t see anywhere else in the United States but in Philadelphia,” Nutter said.
Officials say Philadelphia would use a sports arena and its massive convention center to host the 2016 convention.
If its bid is successful, the city would need to raise more than $50 million to put on the event, said Kevin Washo, lead strategist for the host committee pushing to get the convention to Philadelphia. He said the funds primarily would come from outside sources.
Officials repeatedly cited the city’s history of hosting large-scale events, namely the 2000 Republican National Convention, as they made their push for Philadelphia.
“We have a reputation dating back to Live Aid as being the city that comes through for big events,” said Rendell, a former chairman of the DNC.
Philadelphia, a city that leans heavily Democratic, is one of five cities bidding for the event. DNC officials also are considering Birmingham, Alabama; Columbus, Ohio; New York and Phoenix.
Representatives from the DNC were touring Columbus on Thursday and are expected to be in New York on Monday and Tuesday.