By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Democratic National Committee has narrowed the list of cities in the running for its 2016 convention and, as expected, Philadelphia is among the final three.

DNC officials say the list of potential hosts for the 2016 nominating convention is now down to Philadelphia, New York, and Columbus, Ohio.

Two other cities that had placed bids are now eliminated: Phoenix, Ariz. and Birmingham, Ala.

“We’re certainly happy… for about five minutes,” Mayor Nutter said today. “Then (it’s) back to work, working on this bid and making sure that we have all the pieces, all the elements, all the components that ultimately would point the leaders of the Democratic National Committee to choose Philadelphia,” he said.

The DNC statement did not give reasons for the interim decision, but insiders had long felt that Philadelphia, New York, and Columbus stood the best chance of being chosen.

This trimming of bidders comes three months after the DNC site selection committee visited all the cities, including two days of being wined and dined here in Philadelphia.

This of course, comes just one week after the Vatican announced that Pope Francis will visit Philadelphia next September, for the World Meeting of Families.

The 2016 DNC convention has no firm date yet, though this latest statement narrows it down to the weeks of July 18th, July 25th, or August 22nd.

The 2016 Republican National Convention will be held in Cleveland.  A final decision by the Democrats will come early next year.