Republican National Convention-goers could be out boozing until 4 a.m. next summer at local bars and restaurants, under new language proposed in the Ohio Senate’s budget plan.
The provision, still under debate, reportedly would allow local officials to issue waivers for a “very limited” number of Cuyahoga County businesses to extend alcohol sales past the usual 2:30 a.m. during the Republican National Convention, scheduled for July 18-21, 2016, in Cleveland.
Under the proposal, liquor license holders would have to apply for the waiver at least 120 days in advance, according to Cleveland.com.
“We’re trying to show Cleveland in its best light, and we have a lot of great restaurants downtown,” Patton told Cleveland.com. He said he wants to make sure local bars and restaurants can stay open late enough to serve convention-goers who may not leave the Quicken Loans Arena, where the convention will be held, until midnight.
If passed, the provision wouldn’t exclusively apply to the 2016 RNC, but rather allow any Ohio municipality with a population of more than 350,000 to allow 4 a.m. beer and liquor sales during “major events” that last between one and 10 days and are expected to attract more than 3,000 people.
The Republican National Convention is expected to generate more than $400 million in revenue and attract more than 50,000 attendees.