By Mike Dunn and Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Democratic National Committee has chosen Philadelphia as the site city to host its 2016 presidential nominating convention.
The convention will be held in Philadelphia during the week of July 25th, 2016.
The chair of the DNC, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), this morning announced that the committee has chosen Philadelphia to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
The DNC decision was delayed for a few weeks — it had originally been expected in late January — but Wasserman Schultz had herself been to Philadelphia and the other cities about two weeks ago, personally looking at the proposed venues.
Philadelphia hosted the Republican National Convention in 2000. And city officials have long said that the success of that convention was key to the city’s ability to become a finalist — and now, obviously the final choice — for the Democrats.
So, it’s a big one-two punch for the City of Philadelphia, with Pope Francis coming this September and the Democratic National Convention coming in July of 2016. Each event means hundreds of millions of dollars in tourism revenue for businesses in Philadelphia, according to organizers.
US Rep. Bob Brady (D-Pa.), the driving force behind the city’s bid for the convention, credits the team he assembled to woo the party, which included the city and state’s top Democrats.
But he adds that he personally lobbied the DNC chair, Rep. Debbie Schultz.
“Hugs work,” Brady told KYW Newsradio this morning, with a laugh. “I hugged her every day for the past two months, except for one day when I didn’t see her on the (House) floor, so I hugged her chief of staff — who’s a guy, by the way.”
Brady, whose Congressional district includes half of Philadelphia, thinks the city was a natural choice for the convention:
“I just think that we have the best city for this. We just have all the conditions, we have all the historical sites, we have all the hotels, we have all the restaurants, we have the neighborhoods and we have the venue.”
That venue will by the Wells Fargo Center, in South Philadelphia.
Brady says he hasn’t calculated the cost yet to the party. The Dems’ chief fundraiser, former Pennsylvania governor and Philadelphia mayor Ed Rendell, says the city pledged to raise $85 million for the event. He says his team already has pledges totaling $17 million, and has already collected more than $5 million of that.
And Rendell says the toughest part of negotiations was convincing the party that Philadelphia could raise the funds needed to stage such an event.
“It was a tough hurdle,” he told KYW Newsradio. “It was a hurdle that all those cities had to meet. But I think we did a good job meeting it.”
“I want to show off our city. To my colleagues. To the nation. To the world,” Brady told Eyewitness News.
July 2016 will mark 240 years to the month since the signing of The Declaration of Independence. Many believe Philadelphia’s place in history helped the city become the next DNC host.
CBS 3’s David Spunt contributed to this report.