Kansas City works to show it can handle crowds that RNC will bring

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City hosted the RNC delegation at a closed-door reception and dinner at the Kauffman Center Thursday night. It was one more opportunity to schmooze the visiting site selection committee and convince members KC can handle the expected 40,000 visitors.

"I think it's a wonderful opportunity for the city, I think it's wonderful opportunity for the Republicans," said Jeff Roe, a Republican and founder and CEO of a political consulting firm.

He shares the views of many when it comes to Kansas City hosting the Republican National Convention.

"We have the facilities, we don't have a major league team, so we have the flexibility to use the Sprint Center whenever they pick to have the convention and that's something that the other cities simply can't provide," Roe added.

But the burning question is: can Kansas City compete with cities that can accommodate large groups of visitors?

"Logistically, it's going to be difficult. You're going to have a lot of people coming into a relatively small area, quickly," said Rob Wilson, the President of Meeting Evolution -- a software company that helps meeting planners find venues and hotels to have successful events.

"35,000 to 40,000 people, the number of sleeping rooms around the Kansas City metropolitan area being 25,000 to 30,000, so that logistically could be a difficult situation but that doesn't mean it won't bleed into other areas outside the suburban area to help us with that," Wilson said.

He says hosting the Republican National Convention would bring in millions of dollars and help boost the local economy, but Kansas City is going to have to prove itself.

"Yes, it would be a madhouse, yes it would be a logistics challenge if you will, but I think it's a great opportunity for our city to show what it can do to support a large event like this," said Wilson.

"We've shown that we're a big league city. We've had the MLB All-Star Game, we've had the world championship for American soccer, and we're even talking about hosting the Super Bowl down the line," added Roe.

The Republican National Committee is looking for a place that can raise money, provide ample security, and easy transportation.

After touring the Sprint Center and the Plaza Thursday, a final morning of the visit is set for Friday before the delegates depart by afternoon. The committee visits Denver next and then finishes up in Dallas. A convention winner will be named later this summer.

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1 Comment

  • peepsamus

    the city can’t handle its normal traffic. If anything is going on downtown the traffic is a nightmare. Good luck with fooling people that don’t know any better