Pittsburgh, Allegheny County officials pushing for Republican National Convention to be held here

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh is on the shortlist for potentially hosting the 2024 Republican National Convention.

The city confirmed Visit Pittsburgh has applied to host the next RNC.

According to a report from Politico, the Steel City is being scouted alongside Nashville, Salt Lake City and Milwaukee.

County Council Member and Republican Committee Chair for Allegheny County Sam DeMarco applauds the possibility.

He says the economic impact would help the struggling hospitality and service industry bounce back.

“The economic impact of this event should it be held in Pittsburgh, if selected runs in the 100s of millions of dollars,” said DeMarco, Republican Allegheny County Council member at large/Chairman of Republican Committee of Allegheny County.

DeMarco also says it would lay the groundwork to potentially host other large-scale events, and he is thrilled there is reported bipartisan support coming from Pittsburgh’s highest offices.

“I would commend the new mayor of Pittsburgh Ed Gainey on recognizing the economic benefit that this could provide for this city,” said DeMarco.

However, Democratic Allegheny County Council person at large Bethany Hallam says times are already divisive and this would amplify tensions.

“There is no amount of money that’s worth the danger, violence and hate that will be patrolling our streets if the RNC comes to Pittsburgh,” said Hallam.

Hallam also says the tax dollars spent on trying to keep the public safe and employing extra law enforcement wouldn’t be worth the energy.

“It’s just disappointing to me. I expected better,” said Hallam.

County Executive Rich Fitzgerald weighed in on the possibility of the RNC being hosted in Pittsburgh.

He told Channel 11 in part: “This puts a lot of people to work who have been hurt in these last couple of years over the pandemic. It’s not about a litmus test of agreeing. It’s part of being a welcoming city.”

A spokesperson with the mayor’s office said, “The City was approached by Visit Pittsburgh to provide a letter of support for an application they are submitting for Pittsburgh to potentially host the RNC. Visit Pittsburgh is also working on a host application for the DNC and we look forward to supporting that bid as well. We understand the concerns that some have expressed. Should the City be selected, we are confident in our ability to ensure successful operations for an event of this size and will engage with the RNC and Visit Pittsburgh in relation to their engagement with the city.”

Visit Pittsburgh told Channel 11:

VisitPITTSBURGH can confirm that the Republican National Committee invited Pittsburgh to bid on the 2024 Republican National Convention and that we submitted a formal proposal late last year.

As the official tourism development organization for Allegheny County, VisitPITTSBURGH is dedicated to growing the tourism economy of our region by attracting business events, sports events and leisure tourism to the Pittsburgh region and then maximizing visitor spend while in-market. We are a non-partisan organization, and we deliver on our mission together with our more than 650 business and organizational partners. Large-scale events like the 2024 Republican National Convention drive the tourism economy in Allegheny County, and this event certainly would generate significant economic impact and job opportunities for our region. According to Tourism Economics, the 2016 Republican National Convention resulted in up to $188.4 million in economic benefit for the seven-county region surrounding Cleveland, as well as $10.2 million in state and local tax revenue.

To ensure we maximize opportunities for our business partners and the community, VisitPITTSBURGH also has made several inquiries into the opportunity to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention.

DeMarco says he has not yet heard back from the Republican National Committee regarding the application.

Once there is an update, we will bring it to you.