Miami-Dade County

Miami drops bid for 2016 Democratic National Convention

If Hillary Clinton becomes the Democratic presidential candidate in 2016, she won’t be accepting her party’s nomination in Miami.

Organizers putting together a bid to host the Democratic National Convention at downtown’s AmericanAirlines Arena — an event with a $50 million price tag for local governments — have recommended withdrawing from the process. They cited too short a time frame to put together a winning proposal.

Organizers Freddy Balsera, a political consultant and publicist, and Bill Talbert, head of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, sent an email last week to Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado and Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine to say Miami would be at a disadvantage because it began preparing its bid too late.

“We continue feeling very strongly that Miami would be the absolute best site for any political convention based on all of the attributes that our community has to offer and we urge you to consider taking steps so that we may organize ourselves with anticipation to potentially pursue the conventions in 2020,” Balsera wrote in the May 28 email.

According to the request for proposals sent by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston and chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, host cities must include a line or letter of credit for up to $20 million to cover potential funding shortfalls.

In addition, hotels taking part would have to commit most or all of their rooms and suites for the event, and AAA and the Miami Beach Convention Center would have to provide unlimited access for eight weeks prior to the convention, whose date has yet to be set.

Fourteen cities, including Orlando, New York and Las Vegas, were also invited to bid, though Orlando has also dropped out. Proposals are due Friday.