Site Selection 2008

City of Tampa
City of St. Petersburg

Tampa Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau
St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL
Tampa Bay’s highly competitive and extremely diverse landscape make it an absolutely essential starting point for national political campaigns.  By selecting Tampa-St. Petersburg as the host city for the 2008 Republican National Convention, the Republican Party can ensure its candidate a win in Florida and capture the state's critical 27 electoral votes.

Host City
No place can surpass the incredible adventures that await while visiting Tampa-St. Petersburg.  From its glistening coastlines, to breathtaking architecture and natural wildlife, this destination holds a captive audience by infusing natural Florida with lively nightlife, cultural opportunities, and thrilling attractions.  Both Tampa and St. Petersburg offer unique and different interests to visitors. Tampa is a dynamic state-of-the-art city which is the third largest in the state.  St. Petersburg is a coastal city which enjoys cool breezes off the gulf and a casual state of mind.  But both cities share the desire to make the Bay area a diverse and culturally-appealing destination to people of all walks of life.  Together, the Tampa-St. Petersburg communities create the most compelling, multi-faceted destination in Florida.

Host Committee
Tampa-St. Petersburg’s Host Committee is chaired by local businessman Al Austin, CEO of Austin Companies, a real estate development corporation.  As an active participant in the Florida Republican Party, Austin has been a delegate or alternate to every Republican National Convention and has served in leadership roles in every Presidential campaign in Florida since 1972.  Austin currently serves as Finance Chairman for the Republican Party of Florida.

The St. Pete Times Forum, the main convention area, overlooks the nearby Tampa Convention Center, the site of your media work space.  Towering between these two buildings is the 717-room Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina.  Within an easy walk from this convention complex are the recommended locations for the office staff facilities, additional accommodations, plentiful parking, and flexible staging areas for transportation systems.

The Tampa Bay area's more than 40,000 hospitable hotel rooms greatly exceed the estimated room requirements of the Republican National Convention.  Grand historic resorts, high rise luxury hotels with contemporary designs and modern conveniences, cozy B&Bs that cater to travelers by creating the comforts of home and much more beckon travelers fortunate enough to stay within the Tampa Bay area.

From the skyways to the highways, all major roads, railways, waterways and flight routes lead to Tampa Bay.  The area’s abundant network of publicly and privately operated transportation systems already in place, coupled with those under construction, keep traffic flowing smoothly throughout the entire area.  Spacious, prevalent parking facilities put delegates just steps away from the main convention area and other key locations, contributing to the overall accessibility and convenience of travel throughout Tampa Bay.

The Tampa Bay area maintains a technologically-advanced telecommunications system that well serves the many demands of its population base, business community, governmental entities and transportation sectors.  World-class network service capability is available in the region.

Convention delegates will be safe in Tampa Bay because it is our business to protect visitors; we do it day in and day out for tens of millions of guests each year.  It is vitally and equally important to preserve an environment where delegates can concentrate on the event and business at hand.   Tampa Bay has a proven track record having safeguarded many national, large-scale events, including three Super Bowls, the NCAA Final Four Men’s Basketball Tournament, NHL All-Star Weekend, Vice Presidential Debate, the Gulf States Governors Conference, and the 2000 Republican Governors Association Annual Meeting.

PRESS RELEASES (date of release)
Tampa-St. Petersburg selected as a finalist (June 14, 2006)
Bid Delivery (May 22, 2006)
Interested Cities Day (April 7, 2006)
Intent to bid (March 29, 2006)
Copyright © 2006  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action