DNC Committee Tours Uptown, Meets Local Leaders

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CHARLOTTE, N.C.,None - Despite a shroud of secrecy around the DNC site selection committee's visit, Channel 9 was there as a dozen members of the committee stepped off their bus into uptown Charlotte on Tuesday.

With Charlotte in the running to host the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Eyewitness News anchor Blair Miller went to Denver, the site of the last DNC, to see what it takes to win the bid. You can see his reports here. For extended coverage of Charlotte's DNC bid, click here.

Before the committee members got to the center city, they got an up-close look at Charlotte's airport, where hundreds of daily nonstop flights and one terminal may have been bonuses in their eyes.

"They said, ‘OK, everything's in one terminal here? That's an advantage,'" Tim Newman with the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority said. "Think about other cities and the time you'd need to scoot between multiple terminals and the time that takes."

Newman said DNC members told him they were impressed, but they didn't talk publicly. Even Charlotte Mayor Anthony Fox had little to say as he walked with the committee during its visit.

"It's a technical visit," he said. "They're just checking boxes."

Committee members spent much of their time uptown, having lunch at the African American Cultural Center and then walking up the street to the Knight Theatre and Bechtler Museum.

It's the even bigger venues, though, like the convention center and Time Warner Cable Arena that will get the most thorough going-over before a night of wining and dining.

On Wednesday, the committee will tour the region, giving local leaders a chance to show off things Charlotte has that other contenders don't.

"You're thinking about unique venues," Newman said. "There's only one Billy Graham Library. There's only one NASCAR Hall of Fame. Those are the kind of things we'll show them."

Gov. Bev Perdue will be in Charlotte Wednesday to add her support to the effort.

The wining and dining on Tuesday evening will be at the swank uptown restaurant Bentley's. The tab will be paid with money donated to the city's effort to win the convention.