Philadelphia to host the 2016 DNC

February 19th, 2015


The Democratic National Convention will take place in Philadelphia in July 2016. On Thursday, Feb. 12, the Democratic National Committee confirmed their selection. Philadelphia was chosen over Brooklyn, New York and Columbus, Ohio.


According to CNN, the decision was announced through a Facebook video post, where DNC chairwoman and congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) pulled a cheesesteak sandwich out of a refrigerator.


Philadelphia secured the convention because it was a safe financial and political pick, according to The New York Times. There are numerous individual and corporate backers within the city.


Additionally, Philadelphia is not home to a polarizing mayor, such as Bill de Blasio of New York City.


While Philadelphia is essentially a safe choice, Wasserman Schultz said political influence was not one of the deciding factors.

DEM 2016 Convention Philadelphia

“The only three factors we considered when deciding which was the strongest city were logistics, security and resources,” she said.


The potential location of New York could have create logistical and travel issues. There are few hotels near Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.  Therefore, many would have to commute from Manhattan. According to ABC, Wasserman Schultz said there are 18,500 hotel rooms  within a “15-minute walk” of the convention site in Philadelphia.


Although Wasserman Schultz denied that political factors influenced the decision to select Philadelphia, many speculate there were in fact political motives.


New York City Democratic political consultant Hank Sheinkopf said Pennsylvania is still a swing state, which could have contributed to Philadelphia winning the bid.


“Pennsylvania is a state that could potentially vote Republican and has elected Republicans statewide in recent times,” Sheinkopf said, according to ABC. “Democrats need to be more in tune with the heartland, and Pennsylvania represents that.”


Edward G. Rendell, the former governor of  Pennsylvania and Philadelphia mayor, was a key player in charge of the city’s bid, according to The New York Times. He agreed with Wasserman Schultz that, logistically, Philadelphia was a safe choice given all of the hotel options near the Wells Fargo Center.


The ease of travel within the city of Philadelphia may have been the undoing of Columbus as a potential host. While Columbus is the 15th largest city in the country according to The New York Times, it has a small airport and fewer hotels than Philadelphia.


According to The New York Times, the Republican Party, whose convention will be in Cleveland, took to Twitter to taunt the Democrats, saying: “Ohio voters take note: the @GOP wants your vote. The @TheDemocrats…not so much.”


The New York Times reported that the convention sites have had little influence over which party would win the state in recent elections. Both Democrats and Republicans lost their convention states in 2012.


Editor’s Note: Information from CNN, The New York Times and ABC was used in this report.