Site Selection 2004 

City of Boston  |  Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau  |  Boston 04
Boston, MA
"Boston offers great history, a cutting edge and diverse economy, vibrant neighborhoods and a state of the art facility in the FleetCenter. Boston is the best place to visit in the summer as the mountains of New Hampshire and the beaches of Cape Cod and Rhode Island are a short drive away. As the nation's sixth largest media market, Boston television reaches the 6 state New England region with its 34 electoral votes. This would be Boston's first national political convention and the City is rolling out the red carpet to make it a memorable one!"

Boston is a City that can make a great convention happen.
"At a time when all Americans are experiencing a renewed sense of patriotism and appreciation for our freedom and democracy, Boston is the ideal location for the Democratic National Convention.  A model success story, Boston represents the best of America--from the founding of our nation back in the1770s to Boston's emergence today as a diverse hub of education, healthcare, technology, tourism, and finance."
-Introduction to the Boston Proposal 

  •  The City of Boston provides an ideal vantage point to capture not only the sixth largest media market in the country but also the critical media markets for New Hampshire, Connecticut, Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island, and New York.
  • Boston's growing diversity is one of its greatest strengths.  According to the 2000 Census, Boston is now a majority minority city.  This represents a wide range of ethnic and racial groups, including immigrants from more than 100 countries.
  • Mayor Thomas M. Menino was reelected for a third four-year term on November 6, 2001 with 76 percent of the vote.  He will remain in office until January of 2006.
  • The Central Artery/Tunnel Project, known as the Big Dig, is about mobility, the environment, and economic growth for Boston and all of New England.  It is the largest, most complex, and technologically challenging public works project ever attempted in America.
  • Boston is the Birthplace of Democracy.  Boston is where the American Revolution began and was home to Paul Revere and John Hancock; Samuel, John, and Abigail Adams; Crispus Attucks; and the other patriots whose protest against King George III served as the catalyst that led to independence, democracy and, eventually, equal rights for all citizens.
  • Boston is Politics. Boston's tradition of political activism did not end with the American Revolution.  From the Abolitionist Movement to the Civil Rights Movement, from Equal Rights to the environment, Boston has been a leader in every great progressive cause known to America.
  • Boston Is Ready to Host the Democratic National Convention.  Due to Boston's rich political history, some people are surprised to hear that this would be our first national political convention.  It is time to change that and bring a national convention home to Boston.
Convention Complex - FleetCenter.  Opened 1995.  Gross area of convention complex is 755,000 square feet; arena area (usable space) is 344,700 square feet; arena floor (usable space) is 21,760 square feet.  20,000 unobstructed arena seats.  104 permanent executive suites located on two levels.

Host Committee - "Mayor Menino officially launched Boston 2004 on December 13, 2001.  Over 40 of Boston's most influential business leaders have joined the Host committee including two former DNC chairs, the former DNC finance chair, the CEOs of Boston's largest financial institutions, and numerous others." (list)

Hotels and Low Cost Housing - "Currently there are 27,980 hotel rooms in the Greater Boston area well within 30 minutes travel time to the FleetCenter, and more than 17,400 hotel rooms in Boston and Cambridge alone.  Over 20,000 of these rooms are committable to groups."  Proposed hotel block includes 86 individual hotel properties and a total of 24,539 rooms.

Security - "The City of Boston has hosted many large-scale events within the past ten years; some were family oriented, others were in the realm of major demonstrations and disturbances.  They were all handled well within the capabilities of the Boston Police Department.  These events included the New England Patriots Super Bowl victory celebration, where the crowd numbered over 1.25 million people; the 2000 Presidential Debate; and Sail Boston, a worldwide Tall Ships extravaganza both in 1992 and 2001."  "The men and women of the Boston Police Department stand ready to do everything in our power to make the convention a success."-Paul F. Evans, Police Commissioner

Transportation - "The City of Boston is known nationally as 'America's Walking City.'  Residents and tourists alike boast of the fact that Boston has all the amenities of a big city with the comfort of a small town.  Boston is easily accessible by air, automobile, train, bus, subway, and water shuttle…  The FleetCenter's close proximity to our downtown amenities and various historical attractions of Boston also offers easy access to America's first subway system, the MBTA, referred by locals as the 'T.'  … Convention-goers will be given free seven-day T passes printed with the Convention logo and information.  Promoting the use of public transportation is a way to strategically reinforce the environmentally friendly message of the Party."
"Boston offers conventioneers some of the best attractions to be found in the country.  As the 'cradle of the Revolution,' we offer visitors a rich history like no other city in America.  For over 350 years, some of the world's greatest patriots, writers, thinkers, athletes and artists have called Boston their home, leaving an indelible mark on the magnificent city in the process.  Our cultural offerings, from world-class museums, theater and symphony, fine dining, shopping, and such historical attractions as the U.S.S. Constitution, Faneuil Hall, Bunker Hill and the Old North Church make Boston a truly unique and exciting city."
-Michael F. Flaherty, Boston City Council President 

Bid document: 103 pages and letters totaling 10 pages, plus 7 exhibits.  Mayor Menino, Senator Kennedy and Senator Kerry presented the bid to DNC chair Terry McAuliffe on April 12 in a Paul Revere themed event.

-Boston 04 at the DNC winter meeting, Jan. 18, 2002
-Site Advisory Committee visit, June 24-26, 2002

Observations.  It is a surprising fact that a city with this much history has never held a major party nominating convention.  Beantown is not only rich in American history, but it has a storied Democratic tradition.  States do not come much more Democratic than Massachusetts, where all 12 members of the congressional delegation are Democrats.  This could weigh against Boston in the calculus of site selection, where one of factors is the possibility of swaying electoral votes.  City proponents point out that Boston is 6th largest media market in the country.  Further, the New England states of New Hampshire and Maine were closely fought in 2000.  One could also argue that there would not be a better place to showcase Democratic principles than in such a Democratic stronghold.  Boston bid for the 2000 Democratic convention and was, along with Denver and Los Angeles, one of the final three contenders.  Finally, it is interesting to note that one of the Democrats' leading 2004 contenders, Sen. John Kerry, hails from Massachusetts. 

According to the 2000 Census, the primary Boston area has a population of 3.4 million, while the broader consolidated area, extending into NH, ME and CT, has a population of 5.8 million (seventh biggest).  Mayor Thomas M. Menino (D) was elected in November 1993 and re-elected in 1997 and 2001. 

Copyright © 2001, 2002 Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action.