by Michael C. Lowe | July 09, 2014

The Republican National Committee announced Tuesday that Cleveland will host the 2016 Republican National Convention. The RNC and Cleveland will now enter exclusive negotiations on key details for the gathering, and the recommendation will be presented to the full committee when it meets in Chicago in early August to finalize the choice by vote.

A press conference was held with area business leaders and officials on Tuesday in Cleveland. According to the Plain Dealer, there was an air of optimism among attendees that the RNC could be a means to elevate the city and a catalyst for new business interest and investment.

David Gilbert, president and CEO of Positively Cleveland, is looking forward to the opportunity to change people's perceptions of the city. "If we have 50,000 people here, and 15,000 media members, the opportunity is greater to change this perception than really anything this community could do," Gilbert said, as reported by the Plain Dealer.

County executive Ed Fitzgerald echoed that sentiment. "This is an opportunity for us to tell a story of Cleveland that is officially back as one of the nation's premier cities. I'm convinced we're going to be able to tell that story to a national audience in 2016." Fitzgerald also referenced the county's planned 30-story convention hotel, which is scheduled to open around the same time the RNC is planned, as a major selling point for the event.

Read M&C's recent feature on the RNC contenders, "Competing for the 2016 Republican National Convention," here.