CONTACT: Jordy Tollett, President, GHCVB

City Of Houston Will Not Bid To Host 2004 Political Conventions

HOUSTON, Texas, April 12, 2002 – Mayor Lee P. Brown today announced that the City of Houston, honored to be considered a candidate city to host the 2004 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, has opted not to compete.

In letters to the site selection committee chairmen of both parties, Mayor Brown said, “Houston is presently in a period of tremendous growth and change.  We are rebuilding our existing infrastructure, redeveloping downtown Houston, preparing to inaugurate a light rail system and adding new facilities that will both benefit our citizens and allow us to be a better host to major events in the future.  In 2003 and 2004, we will celebrate the expansion of the George R. Brown Convention Center, the opening of the adjacent Hilton Americas Hotel and the expansion of both Houston airports, and we will be enjoying new facilities, including the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, Reliant Stadium and a state-of-the-art basketball arena.  Among the major events Houston will host during that time period are the Super Bowl, the Major League All-Star Game and the Texaco Grand Prix.  Houston is also devoting much energy to our bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.”

Because of Houston’s extensive commitment of resources to the projects mentioned, Mayor Brown advised the committee chairs that he had reached the difficult conclusion that it is in Houston’s long-term best interest not to proceed further in the bidding process for these conventions.  “At this point in Houston’s development, it is important for our city’s leaders to focus on completing all that we have undertaken,” Mayor Brown added, “so that we can be an even better site for events like these in the future.”

City obligations to compete for and host either of the political conventions have been estimated at approximately $40 million.