Charlotte preparing bid to host 2020 Republican National Convention

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte leaders said they are throwing the Queen City's name in the hat to host the 2020 Republican National Convention.

Charlotte hosted the Democratic National Convention in 2012.

Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles said the RNC sent letters to cities, including Charlotte, in December, suggesting they apply.

The city of Charlotte is working with key partners and stakeholders in submitting a proposal highlighting all that Charlotte has to offer as a convention destination.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase our city, our region and our state to the world,” Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles said.

It's a bid Lyles said she doesn’t want to pass up.

"I think since we've done it once, we've learned some great lessons and we can do it even better,” Lyles said.

In 2012, the Democratic National Convention brought in more than $163 million for the city.

"The real impact for Charlotte is the economic impact that I hope will exceed over $100 million,” Lyles said.

The city is working on having at least four more hotels built, thousands of additional rooms to accommodate the RNC and even bigger events in the future.

"As we build our hotel capacity, we start becoming a tier one city that can host a lot of large events,” said James Mitchell with the Charlotte City Council of Economic Development.

City leaders said safety was at the forefront of planning for 2012 and it will be a top priority for 2020.

"And I'm sure (Charlotte-Mecklenburg police) Chief Putney is up for the challenge."

Officials said hosting the RNC in 2020 could possibly open other doors in the future, like hosting the Super Bowl or the Olympics.

2012 didn't come without problems or headaches for Charlotteans, however.

Protesters and checkpoints shut down streets, and terrorist threats brought unprecedented security concerns.

"I'm really pleased and proud to announce that we're preparing a bid for the Republican National Convention that will be held in 2020,” Lyles said.

The 2020 proposal, including a security plan, is due by Feb. 28.

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