Cleveland Gears UP for GOP Convention

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By: Wendy Dean, West Editor-in-Chief

City officials and RNC personnel are busy with last minute details for the Republican National Convention 2016 that will begin on July 18 at the Quicken Loans Arena, and The Voice will be there to cover it.

Cleveland expects at least 50,000 people will be coming to the city for the event.

According to information posted on the RNC website, “the RNC will host about 2,470 delegates and 2,302 alternate delegates from all 50 states, the District of Colombia, and five territories.”

The convention is anticipated to bring in $250 million in direct spending from outside dollars. Area hotels are among the first to profit, an estimated 17,000 hotel rooms have been booked for the four day event, according to host committee officials.

City officials are expecting thousands of protesters to descend on Cleveland.

Political reporter Henry Gomez of Cleveland.com says, “groups are organizing to demonstrate and protest. We’ll be watching to see how police handle the crowds and the protests. We’ll be watching to see if things turn violent, though of course we hope that doesn’t happen.”

If you are able to avoid the downtown area, you should. According to the Plain Dealer, “streets will be closed. Protesters could be a nuisance. You’ll need a pass to get anywhere near The Q.”

Due to the road closures, several Cleveland businesses near the Q are informing employees not to come to work next week. TRI-C, Cleveland State University and Case Western Reserve University have cancelled classes for the week.

The RNC noted on its website that 2016 will mark the fourth time the Republican Party will convene its convention in Ohio. The Buckeye State also played host to the (Cincinnati) 1876, (Cleveland) 1924 and 1936 Republican National Conventions.

“It should be a highly entertaining convention. As of now — Wednesday evening — we still don’t know who will be speaking there. But, Trump has indicated he wants an entertainment element. He’s reportedly invited Bobby Knight, the former college basketball coach, to speak. I think we are in for something we’ve never seen before, as far as inside the arena goes,” says Henry Gomez.

Sessions are expected to begin on Monday, July 18 at 1:00 PM.

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