Cleveland continues to prepare for the 50,000 people who will flood the city in July for the Republican National Convention.
The convention will be held July 18-20 in Quicken Loans Arena and will have 2,472 delegates. It is the third time Cleveland will host the event and the first time since 1936.
The entire process started years ago, when the convention’s location was being decided between Dallas and Cleveland. Ohio governor and current presidential candidate John Kasich has spent a great deal of time securing the deal. In a video the governor’s office released in mid-June of 2014, Kasich joked and made his case for Cleveland.
“Dallas’ Tony Romo only has one more playoff win than Cleveland’s Johnny Manziel,” he said.
All joking aside, hosting the RNC is a big opportunity for Ohio.
“We’re excited to continue working with our partners in Cleveland and we look forward to showcasing everything the city has to offer to our delegates and the world in 2016,” the Republican National Committee said in a statement.
Much of the publicity surrounding the RNC is hype for Cleveland itself, but it affects more than just that one city. The estimated economic impact is over $400 million, which is more than would be made without the political convention and is expected to generate $200 million in revenue.
The addition of the new convention building being built expressly for the RNC could potentially help the state economy. According to data from the Bureau of Labor, Ohio has a higher unemployment rate than the majority of states. The convention could help to boost employment rates, but studies have shown this effect to be negligible in the past.
The high interest in the Republican candidates this year also increased the estimated revenue for the convention through ad sales and marketing.
In addition, the convention is adding jobs beyond direct association. Cleveland is overhauling its 6-acre Public Square, paving streets and beautifying the landscape before the July convention. Hotels are being built to help house the crowds that are coming to see who wins the Republican nomination.
However, not all businesses have said the convention might have a positive effect.
“Not every restaurant in town will do star business,” David Gilbert, leader of the 2016 Cleveland Host Committee, said. “Some may do business as normal. Some may be slightly disrupted.”
In the past, many residents living near party conventions have stayed away from the main event, causing some businesses to see a drop in sales as other nearby businesses see an increase. Previous host cities have brought up the debate of whether political conventions provide any benefit at all, due to the crowding out effect – so many politicians and people are crowded into one small area that it becomes unappealing for locals to go to the businesses in that area.