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Phoenix Makes Strong Case To Host 2016 Democratic National Convention

Phoenix, which in February will host the Super Bowl for the third time, is a city with a reputation for attracting and accommodating mega events.

Now the Democratic National Committee must decide if Phoenix is the right choice to host their party's biggest party.

Phoenix is one of five cities that has been short-listed to host the next Democratic National Convention, which would bring about 50,000 visitors - including 6,000 convention delegates and 18,000 media members - to town in summer 2016.

Party organizers visited Phoenix Sept. 9-11 to tour the city's meeting and event venues, and evaluate logistics. What they found was a revitalized downtown landscape where the potential site for their convention-US Airways Center-is within easy walking distance of 3,000 hotel rooms and one of the newest and most sophisticated convention centers in the country.

"In terms of logistics for an event like the DNC, Phoenix is second to none," said Steve Moore, president and CEO of Visit Phoenix. "Our downtown has a compact footprint that makes it easy to walk between event venues and hotels, our airport is only five minutes from downtown, and our 62,000-room hotel portfolio includes an impressive collection of resorts with tons of meeting and caucus space."

Those attributes are what the National Football League will avail itself of during the first week of February, when downtown Phoenix is transformed into "Super Bowl Central," a 12-block entertainment district that will feature the fan-centric NFL Experience, a wine-and-beer garden, concert staging, and the media headquarters for the big game.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton championed downtown Phoenix's logistical advantages and mega-event experience during the organizers' visit, and he also called attention to his city's diversity and inclusiveness. He pointed out that Phoenix's population is more than 40 percent Hispanic, and that Phoenix recently received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign's Municipal Equality Index, which measures the fairness of a city's laws, benefits and services.

"Both political parties, if they're smart, will be adopting public policies that are supportive of the wonderfully diverse population that we have here in Phoenix," Stanton said. "Politically and demographically, Phoenix is where our country is going."

 Pictured here, the Phoenix Suns' mascot, the Gorilla, poses with members of the Democratic National Convention's technical advisory committee at US Airways Center on Sept. 10. Phoenix is one of five cities that is a finalist to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention, and the DNC organizers toured Phoenix meeting and event venues such as the Phoenix Convention Center, Chase Field, Orpheum Theatre, Heard Museum, Hotel Palomar, Phoenician, Royal Palms, JW Marriott Desert Ridge, and the Arizona Biltmore Resort.

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