DNC committee to get first-hand look at Cleveland

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CLEVELAND -- Cleveland is moving forward in its bid to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

It's one of six cities that will receive a visit this summer from a Democratic National Committee Site Selection Committee reviewing potential convention sites.

Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Birmingham, Phoenix and Columbus are also in contention.

Wednesday’s announcement came just two days after a contingent of local host committee representatives traveled to Washington D.C. to present Cleveland’s bid to the DNC.

“We're looking forward to the DNC committee coming out first-hand and seeing why we're a great city and why we'd be the right choice for a convention,” said Mike Burns, Senior Vice President of Convention Sales and Services with Positively Cleveland.

The site selection committee will look at the city's infrastructure, venues like Quicken Loans Arena and convention center, hotels and transportation.

A group of representatives with the Republican National Committee visited Cleveland twice before naming it a finalist, along with Dallas.

“We don't think it's very likely we'll get both,” Burns said. “We're excited we have the opportunity to pursue both of the conventions with the hope that we'll land one.”

Burns said estimates predict a convention would bring more than 40,000 people to Cleveland and boost the local economy by at least $200 million.

A convention could rally support in a Democratic stronghold.

“It's a huge benefit to all of our statewide and national candidates to close the deal here in Cleveland,” Democratic Party of Cuyahoga County Chairman Stuart Garson said.

The Democrats’ visit to Cleveland will happen sometime between the start of July and early September, but an exact date has not yet been set.

The Democratic National Committee told FOX 8 News it hopes to make a final selection by late 2014 or early 2015.

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