While Mayor Sly James says he's worried about the lack of a major 1,000-room hotel downtown, James feels the city's transportation system could help land the Republicans' national convention in 2016, The Kansas City Star reported Tuesday.
The mayor's evaluation of his city's standing was made after he and other city leaders returned from the summer meeting of the Republic National Committee in Boston.
The last time Kansas City hosted the GOP's presidential nominating convention, in 1976, President Gerald Ford got the nod for a full term.
Transportation became an issue after confusion at the GOP convention in Tampa, Fla., last year prevented delegates from two states from returning to their hotels until the wee hours the first night of the convention.
Unlike Tampa, conventioneers in Kansas City would not be separated from their hotel rooms by large bodies of water and rush hour traffic.
Cathy Nugent, who's heading up the drive to land the convention, said Kansas City's goal would be to have the delegates back to their hotels within 30 minutes.
The city does lack more modern transportation such as that available at past hosts New York and Los Angeles. However, the city's short downtown streetcar system could be operational by the convention's opening ceremonies.
James pointed out that Kansas City is centrally located for all of the delegates, with no long flights from anywhere in the continental United States.
Las Vegas, Phoenix and Salt Lake City are Kansas City's rivals this early in the competition.
A formal request for proposals is expected to be issued this fall, with final selection in early 2014.
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