CHICAGO - It's now official. Cleveland will host the 2016 Republican National Convention.
In a unanimous vote during their annual summer conference, 168 delegates from across the country took the RNC Site Selection Committee's recommendation and awarded Cleveland the convention. "Everyone is talking about this convention and their enthusiastic about it and we'll be enthusiastic today, tomorrow and when you get there in 2016, we'll be enthusiastic," said Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson.
Shortly after the vote, Mayor Jackson and other local republican leaders signed contracts with the Republican National Party for Cleveland to host the convention.
Mayor Jackson leading a Cleveland delegation to Chicago for the announcement. "I really believe this us the end of Cleveland being the national bridesmaid. I think this is the thing that will absolutely take the monkey off your back of the jokes being made about Cleveland," said David Gilbert, President and CEO of Positively Cleveland.
Still unanswered, though, is exactly when the convention will be held. It will either be in June or July 2016. An announcement could come by the end of summer. The hold up now is the possibility of LeBron James and the Cavaliers playing in the NBA Finals, which could stretch well into mid-June, giving very little time for a makeover to Quicken Loans Arena. "Now with Love joining LBJ, I think it's the overall evaluation they've made is that they are going to settle on a date soon and my guess is we're going to see a July convention. You can take it to the bank or you can take it with a grain of sal," said Cuyahoga County Republican Chairman Rob Frost.
The RNC said Progressive Field will be used during the convention, in addition to Quicken Loans Arena.