For Immediate Release
June 22nd, 2006    
Contact: Jeremy Hanson, 612-673-2785 (Minneapolis) 
Contact: Bob Hume, 651-266-8518 (Saint Paul)

Mayors Rybak and Coleman Gear Up for Democratic Site Visit

Democratic National Committee Visit is Central to Garnering National Convention

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and their teams of convention promoters are gearing up for the important visit next week of national Democratic Party leaders.  Democratic National Committee (DNC) staff will be in town to gauge Minneapolis and Saint Paul’s joint bid to host the Democratic National Convention in 2008.  Site visits are perhaps the most important opportunity for cities to showcase their ability to host large conventions, raise the needed financial support, and generate local excitement for the event.

Minneapolis-Saint Paul is one of four cites in the running for the Democratic convention, which would likely bring more than 17,000 people to the area.  Other cities vying for the Democratic convention include New York, Denver and New Orleans.  Minneapolis-Saint Paul is also in the running for the Republican National Convention and a team from the Republican National Committee will make a site visit to Minneapolis and Saint Paul in August.

The DNC site visit will kick-off Sunday night, June 25th with the fireworks celebration of the opening of the new Guthrie Theater in the Mills District.  As the latest renowned architectural and cultural sensation added to downtown Minneapolis, the Guthrie has already garnered significant national attention.  Most recently, Minneapolis was heralded as the “Design City” by Newsweek magazine because of the Guthrie Theater, Walker Art Center, Central Library and Institute of Arts buildings.

“Our main selling point for these conventions is the Mississippi River,” Mayor Rybak said.  “The river is why we are here and states along the river are central to electoral victory for both parties in 2008.  I can’t imagine a better place to showcase the Mississippi than at the spectacular new Guthrie Theater.”

Most of the DNC visit on Monday, June 26 and Tuesday, June 27 will be spent touring the proposed convention venues, hotels, and local attractions.  On Monday DNC members will tour the Xcel Energy Center, Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome and Target Center and will take a spectacular riverboat ride on the Mississippi River in downtown Saint Paul.  The DNC will also get to see the state-of-the art Xcel Center in action by attending Monday night’s Tom Petty - Pearl Jam concert.

“More and more people are visiting and returning to this area because of our exceptional cultural attractions and amazing natural urban environment,” Mayor Coleman said. “With so much to show off in our city, we have packed the DNC schedule tight.  Certainly, the Xcel concert is icing on the cake.”

On Tuesday the DNC will break into small groups to learn more about Minneapolis and Saint Paul’s specific plans for security, transportation, accommodations and technology that the convention will need. Tuesday evening will feature a 300 person reception with local dignitaries at the Walker Art Center overlooking downtown Minneapolis and the landmark Sculpture Garden.

On Wednesday the DNC site visit will conclude with a guided tour of Minneapolis gems and attractions led by Mayor Rybak.  The bus tour will highlight the downtown riverfront, Eat Street, and the glorious Chain of Lakes.

A Gigantic Economic Boost

Hosting a national political convention is considered extremely valuable – both economically and for media visibility.  Based on previous conventions, local officials believe that hosting a national political convention could result in an economic impact of $150 million or more.  It’s estimated that the average convention delegate will spend approximately $1,500 in Minnesota attending the convention.

Beyond hard dollars, one cannot put a dollar figure on the immeasurable value that can come from the spotlight of a national political convention. The massive, unparalleled amount of national and international media attention that follows a national political convention will showcase this region far into the future.

Energy and momentum is thriving as more local leaders become engaged in the effort to garner a national convention.  Already, thousand of dollars of in-kind gifts have been donated by local businesses, organizations, and individuals to promote Minneapolis and Saint Paul as a convention location.  An official Host Committee of over sixty business and political leaders has been organized to lead the effort through an eventual convention.


Sunday, June 25   Event   Location 
4:00 pm DNC Leadership Arrives MSP Airport  
10:30 pm Fireworks at the Guthrie  Guthrie Theater   Minneapolis
Monday, June 26    . .
9:00 am – 10:00 am    Congressional Delegation Breakfast Imperial Suite, Hilton Hotel   Minneapolis 
11:45 am – 12:45 pm  Tour of Xcel Center  Xcel Center   Saint Paul
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Lunch with Mayors Rybak & Coleman Saint Paul Grille   Saint Paul
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm  Tour of HHH Metrodome  HHH Metrodome   Minneapolis
3:30 pm – 3:45 pm Take LRT to Target Center  HHH Metrodome   Minneapolis
3:45 pm – 4:45 pm  Tour of Target Center  Target Center   Minneapolis
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm  Boat ride on the Mississippi River  Harriet Island   Saint Paul
Tuesday, June 27   . .
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm  Host Committee Reception  Walker Art Center   Minneapolis
Wednesday, June 28    . .
9:30 am – 10:30 am  Bus Tour of Minneapolis  Hilton Hotel   Minneapolis
6:45 pm  DNC Leadership Departs  MSP Airport