Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau
On behalf of the more than 11.5 million people of the state of Illinois, we invite you to select Chicago as the site of the first Republican National Convention of the 21st Century. 

Chicago has proven, time and again, that playing host to such gatherings is not the daunting task it is for other cities.  From transportation to accommodations, there is no match to Chicago. 

But other issues play a role in selecting a site for a political convention.  Again, Chicago rises to the top of the list.  Illinois' Republican heritage stretches from Abraham Lincoln's nomination at the historic Wigwam in 1860 to the election of our native son Ronald Reagan, who hails from Dixon and began his career in Chicago broadcasting.  

In total, eight Republican presidents have launched their campaigns from a podium in Chicago, and no GOP president has been elected without winning in Illinois. 

Business leaders throughout Illinois enthusiastically support the effort to bring the GOP convention to Chicago in the year 2000.  We have assembled a committee of civic and business leaders who will lead our efforts to bring together the resources to guarantee that the convention will be an unqualified success. 

Chicago is unmatched in its ability to welcome tens of thousands of visitors with warmth and ease, and no state can equal Illinois' place in the annals of Republican history. 

We hope that in 2000 the GOP will return to, "Where it all began." 

Jim Edgar, Governor 
State of Illinois 

Richard M. Daley, Mayor 
City of Chicago 

The Key to Victory  
Sitting at the crossroads of the nation, Chicago is not only the capital of the Midwest, but it is the gateway to a Republican electoral majority in 2000. 

It makes good political sense for the GOP to return to America's heartland to launch the fall campaign.  Since Lincoln's time, no Republican presidential nominee has reached the White House without carrying Illinois. 

Few states boast a richer Republican history than Illinois.  During this century, native sons like President Ronald Reagan and Senator Everett Dirksen have dominated the national stage with strong leadership and a commitment to Republican principles. 

For the last 22 years, Republican governors have earned national recognition for making Illinois a dynamic example of GOP initiative and innovation. 

Republicans currently control all six statewide constitutional offices, and Cook County, Chicago's home, remains the second largest Republican County in America. 

With the Midwest the key to the White House, it makes sense to begin the GOP's march to victory in the city with the richest Republican heritage in the nation. 

Where It All Began 
The City of Chicago is where it all began for the Republican Party.  In 1860, Abraham Lincoln was nominated for president at the Wigwam, a pine-board structure located on the south bank fo the Chicago River.  A series of subsequent assembly halls launched thirteen more Republican presidential campaigns.  All told, eight Republican presidents including Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower began their journeys to the White House from the shores of Lake Michigan. 

Chicago and the Republican Party have shared a common heritage for over a century.  Following his nomination at the Wigwam, Lincoln took the Party's founding principles of freedom and individual liberty to Washington and inspired future generations. 

At the same time, Chicago continued to grow into one of the nation's leading commercial centers with the resolve of a citizenry committed to hard work and self-determination.  Our city's rich immigrant heritage and diverse ethnic neighborhoods have always been representative of America's diverse population and have been symbols to the world. 

Today, the state-of-the art United Center stands as a modern day Wigwam ready to host the Republican Party as it nominates leaders for a new century who remain dedicated to the same GOP ideals represented by Lincoln's triumph in Chicago.  Our track record shows that we know what it takes to launch a successful Republican candidate for the presidency; you only have to say the word and we'll do it again. 

The Attraction of Chicago 
The United Center: Built To Accomodate 

  • 25,000 square feet on arena floor, 45,000 square feet for staff and candidate offices
  • 23,000 seats, 216 luxury skyboxes on three levels
  • All unobstructed view/media ready
  • Restaurants, private rooms and gathering sites
  • Direct fiber optic links to most downtown hotels
  • Over 4,500 secured parking spaces on site
  • Minutes from downtown
Culturally Speaking: Chicago is the Best 
  • A museum campus that boasts three world-renowned museums (Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum and Adler Planetarium)
  • The Art Institute of Chicago
  • Scores of award-winning theaters
  • More than 8,000 restaurants in the area
  • Everything for music lovers--Chicago Symphony, Lyric Opera, Blues, Jazz
  • Unmatched architectural attractions
  • Pro sports and outdoor activities abound
Commercial Capitol of the Midwest 
  • Five major financial exchanges
  • Home to dozens of Fortune 500 companies
  • Growing high-technology industry that has led to Illinois being dubbed the "Silicon Prairie"
  • Home to some of the country's most fashionable retail districts
"Conventional Wisdom" 
The Republican National Convention in the year 2000 will usher in a new century of leadership and vision for America.  At such a watershed point in history, hotel capacity, infrastructure and transportation should not be the GOP's biggest concerns.  No other city in America can compare to Chicago's ability to host an event of such magnitude. 

Bringing together tens of thousands of delegates, party leaders, staff and media for a successful convention requires experience--the experience that comes from hosting more political conventions than any other city in history. 

Chicago is truly America's meeting place.  Each year, millions of visitors flock to Chicago for conventions, hosting from a few hundred to a hundred thousand attendees. 

Party leaders won't have to worry about convention financing, lack of suitable hotel rooms, transportation nightmares or a lack of amenities--problems faced only too often in other convention cities. 

Chicago's accomodations, transportation, facilities and commitment to excellence will combine to create a near-flawless experience. 

Why take chances?  Chicago has everything it takes to guarantee a successful convention--the know-how, the people, the money, the public support, the venues, the hotels, and that unique brand of hospitality that symbolizes the "City that Works." 

Chicago: Why Take Chances? 
When looking for the right location for the 2000 convention, most cities leave you with questions.  Not Chicago.  You won't have to worry if delegates can get to the convention facility, if there will be enough quality hotel rooms, or if local leaders will provide the resources for a successful event. 

America's meeting place at a glance: 

  • Hosts 15 of the top 50 trade shows in the world
  • Over 6,000,000 annual visitors
  • Over 3,000,000 convention visitors in 1997
  • In 1997, 18 conventions in Chicago drew over 40,000 attendees each
  • 66,000 hotel rooms (27,000 within 2 miles of the United Center)
  • More than 2,500 flights per day, serving all major cities
  • Over 8,000 restaurants
  • State-of-the-art convention facility
  • 6,000 taxis, 2,000 buses, 7 rapid transit rail lines
  • Strong financial commitments from the corporate community
  • Unparalled convention experience