WASHINGTON – Eleven cities have shown interest in playing host to the 2008 Democratic National Convention, twice the number of cities that applied to get the 2004 gathering.
The DNC initially sent out letters to more than 30 cities, giving them an overview and finding out their level of interest.
The 11 cities that said they were interested: Anaheim, Calif.; Dallas; Denver; Detroit; Las Vegas; Minneapolis; New Orleans; New York; Orlando, Fla.; Phoenix and San Antonio.
Some of the cities are in critical swing states like Florida and Arizona, while others are in population centers like New York and the Los Angeles area. Those in the Southwest and Rocky Mountain region are in states where Democrats hope a growing Hispanic population could help tip the balance. Dallas and San Antonio are in firmly Republican Texas.
The location of these cities and the political inclination of those states will not be the only consideration. The cities must have a convention space that can seat 23,000 to 25,000 people (in portable or non-portable seating), must have 17,000 hotel rooms and 1,000 suites available, and be able to provide adequate office space, media work space and transportation to and from the convention site.
The Democratic National Committee has asked cities to send their bids to the DNC by May 19. The DNC's technical advisory committee will sort through the proposals and visit most or all of those cities sometime this summer. The convention is scheduled for Aug. 25-28, 2008.
The 2004 Democratic convention, which chose Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry as its presidential nominee, was held in Boston.
Republicans have sent out invitations to bid on their convention, but they have not set convention dates yet.