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Details released on Nashville's proposed RNC convention agreement

Nashville
Posted at 8:11 AM, Jun 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-29 07:38:12-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — We are learning more about Nashville's proposed deal to host the Republican National Committee's convention.

A Nashville councilman released the proposal online, according to our partners at the Milwaukee Business Journal. That city's common council is set to vote on the "framework agreement" during upcoming meetings in July and August.

Milwaukee and Nashville are the two remaining contenders to host the convention.

Milwaukee's Common Council and Mayor Cavalier Johnson have already approved a proposal to host the RNC.

Read bullet points from Nashville's proposal, per the BizJournal's sister paper in Nashville:


  • Nashville's "host committee," made of civic and business leaders, already has approved five facilities or places for the RNC's exclusive use during the convention: Ryman Auditorium; the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum; Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center; commercial spaces at downtown's Fifth + Broadway mixed-use development; and "bars on Broadway" from Rep. John Lewis Way (formerly Fifth Avenue) to Third Avenue.
  • The document also refers to use of Music City Center by its "MCC" initials as well as the "convention arena." The agreement also floats Nissan Stadium as another possible host site for some events.
  • Among the responsibilities of the host committee: prepare a convention budget; negotiate hotel deals; secure office space for the RNC; "provide delegate experience packages"; pay for a range of insurance and liability coverage and also private security inside the convention arena; provide a $5 million letter of credit to Metro to guarantee the committee's financial obligations.
  • The document doesn't name host committee members. State records show that the group (formally "Nashville 2024 Host Committee") is a nonprofit registered to the Nashville and Washington, D.C., offices of law firm Dickinson Wright. The framework agreement lists James Weaver, partner at law firm Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, as the formal legal contact for the host committee.
  • The agreement would apply to a "convention period" that would begin 12 days prior to the opening session and end eight days after the final session. Those 2024 windows are: June 24 to July 26; July 29 to Aug. 30; or Aug. 5 to Sept. 6.
  • Metro would designate a "high-ranking law enforcement officer (or officers)" to plan and supervise security and work alongside the RNC and federal agencies, including the Secret Service. The agreement requires that person to be available on their cell phone at all hours every day, beginning Feb. 15, 2024.
  • "The host committee and RNC will use their reasonable best efforts to ensure that … a significant portion" of spending on goods, equipment and services goes to companies owned by minorities, women and/or people with disabilities. "The host committee and the RNC recognize and agree that usage of local area labor and businesses, and of minority, women-owned and historically underutilized businesses, is of critical importance, and shall take such into account" when bidding work.
  • The ordinance Metro Council will vote on says it's anticipated that Congress will allot $50 million to each city hosting a convention, for security expenses. Earlier this year, the state earmarked $25 million that could be used to pay for convention expenses.
  • The host committee would reimburse Metro for certain cost overruns, though the document also specifies for example that Metro must provide 24-hour emergency medical services and also create a traffic control plan and, "at no cost to the RNC," provide "adequate traffic control personnel to facilitate the orderly flow of traffic…"

MILWAUKEE APPROVES RNC AGREEMENT

The agreement outlines logistics between the city and the RNC if Milwaukee is chosen as the host city. Nashville is also in the running for host city.

The agreement can only go into effect if the city is selected by the Republican National Committee to be the host city.

The framework agreement plan is used as a way to lay out what thousands of convention-goers can expect in terms of services and resources if the RNC were to take place in the Brew City.

"My support for this agreement, which has been long-standing is primarily driven by the benefits that hard-working that Milwaukeeans will earn will receive when the Republican National Convention comes right here to our city in 2024," Mayor Cavalier Johnson said just before signing the file.

Alderman Michael Murphy explained that the agreement includes a provision that there will be good faith efforts to discuss future compensation to the city at the conclusion of the RNC.

"Historically these conventions always have money left over," Alderman Murphys said. "My hope is that will continue and those dollars can then be used for city services."

There is no set dollar amount on what that amount could look like.

Murphy added that the move opens the door to a new relationship with the Republican-controlled state legislature.

"I think today's vote will be one of those important deciding factors. The fact that the political community is fully supportive of having the convention here," said Gerard Randall secretary for the RNC host committee.

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