KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The group leading the effort to bring the Republican National Convention to Kansas City in 2016 has shipped its bid off to Washington. A video was produced marking the event to showcase the city’s enthusiasm.
The video opens with the Sprint Center and the Power and Light District as a backdrop. It features Mayor Sly James, his security detail and Kansas City Police Officers. But it also raises questions, are taxpayers on the hook for the bid to bring the convention to town?
The first scene starts with handshake and is sealed with a signature from Mayor James to send the bid off in style. The bid to bring the convention to Kansas City gets its own security detail, including a presidential motorcade traveling to a private jet at the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport.
The footage is just a glimpse, says the groups co-chair, Troy Stremming, of what the city can offer the guests of the RNC.
“The point was if we take this type of care of the bid to get it to you, imagine how welcoming we will be to you when you come to our community,” Stremming said.
But bringing the convention to Kansas City is a costly venture.
“We’ve heard numbers around the $50 million range, and that’s all private dollars that are going to bring this convention here, and to pay for the budget that’s required to set up for a convention like this,” Stremming said.
A convention, the group says, which would provide the city a great return.
“Not only will it bring 50,000 people to our community and leave behind hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact, but once again, it will put Kansas City on the map,” Stremming said.
The KC RNC task force isn’t releasing its proposal or the details it contains, but says private donations have so far footed the entire bill.
“That doesn’t really build confidence in the system,” Show-Me Institute spokesman Patrick Tuohey said.
Tuohey said that transparency is key.
“Resources are limited. We have plenty of legitimate infrastructure needs we need to address. A convention, while nice, cannot be a priority,” he said.
But the task force says bringing the convention makes meeting those needs possible.
“With the at least $250 million economic impact that the convention would have on Kansas City, it takes us a long way toward financing those projects. We can’t continue to go back to our citizens that live here every day and increase their taxes and increase their tax,” Brenda Tinnen said.
The task force said the video was just shot on Monday. Mayor James tweeted that the police were practicing for a presidential motorcade. To watch the full production, click on this link.