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Pittsburgh pre-applying to apply to host DNC 2016

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto
Mark Dixon (CC)

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto confirmed today that the city is putting its name in the hat to host the Democratic National Convention in 2016. The quick comparison was made with Charlotte, NC, and it is theoretically possible for the city to manage accommodating the group for the event. There are sufficient convention facilities in the downtown neighborhood, enough hotels, and restaurants.

While big events are often considered an economic boon for cities, when considering anything associated with politics, that isn't necessarily the case. Unlike a large industrial convention - essentially a group of people without any public figures - a political event needs far more security. This is not a foreign concept to the City of Pittsburgh, because the city hosted the G-20 in September of 2009. While that event passed without the severe protests and destruction of property that other cities had suffered, there were significant costs for security to maintain that level of peace throughout the events.

Peduto, while he may think this will be a good thing for the city, might want to take a moment to deeply review what was needed to maintain order in the city during the G-20, before moving forward through the application process for the DNC in 2016. Yes, it would offer a great deal of publicity for the city, but whether or not it would be worth the expense remains to be seen. There is also the attitude of the city residents to consider. There was no shortage of complaints over traffic snarls, and other inconveniences in 2009, and it can be assumed there would be more of the same in 2016 if the city hosts the Democrats. Finally, there is a small issue of ongoing construction downtown. If this is meant to give the city a needed boost in the public eye, it would be good if the city was shining bright, and not covered in construction dust.