Denver’s in the running for the Democratic National Convention in 2020

Crowds begin to assemble outside the 14th and Champa streets corner of the Auditorium during the 1908 Democratic National Convention. (Denver Public Library/Western History & Genealogy Dept./Rocky Mountain News Photograph Collection/RMN-054-2168)
Barack Obama speaksat the 2008 Democratic National Convention at Denver's football stadium, then called Invesco Field, in 2008. (Ravedelay/Flickr/CC 2.0)
Barack Obama speaks at the 2008 Democratic National Convention at Denver’s football stadium, then called Invesco Field, in 2008. (Ravedelay/Flickr/CC 2.0)

The national Democratic Party will consider bringing its convention back to Denver in 2020.

CNN reported, based on an anonymous source, that the Democratic National Committee reached out to a number of cities about the massive event. Eight cities reportedly responded: Atlanta; Birmingham, Alabama; Denver; Houston; Miami Beach; Milwaukee; New York; and San Francisco.

Mayor Michael Hancock’s office confirmed that the city is “exploring the possibility,” as spokesperson Amber Miller wrote in an email.

“Obviously, Denver knows how to deliver on a pretty darn good DNC!”

The DNC could not be reached for comment.

CNN reported that the selection process could take a year — and it can get pretty intense. In Milwaukee, a committee is reportedly ready to raise up to $1 million for the bid process alone.

Denver last hosted the Democratic National Convention in 2008, when thousands of delegates gathered to officially nominate then-candidate Barack Obama. The city previously hosted in 1908, when the Democrats nominated William Jennings Bryan for his third unsuccessful run for president. (He lost to Taft.)

Crowds begin to assemble outside the 14th and Champa streets corner of the Auditorium during the 1908 Democratic National Convention. (Denver Public Library/Western History & Genealogy Dept./Rocky Mountain News Photograph Collection/RMN-054-2168)
Crowds begin to assemble outside the 14th and Champa streets corner of the Auditorium during the 1908 Democratic National Convention. (Denver Public Library/Western History & Genealogy Dept./Rocky Mountain News Photograph Collection/RMN-054-2168)
The convention can bring plenty of attention, money and disruption.

During the 2008 convention, an “arrestee processing” facility picked up the nickname “Gitmo on the Platte.” Afterward, it took three years to settle a lawsuit that alleged 93 plaintiffs were wrongfully arrested during protests. The settlement was $200,000, as The Denver Post reported.

Interestingly, the DNC also played a role in creating Denver B-Cycle, the bike-sharing program. The program was initially funded with a $1 million donation from the 2008 convention host committee. The committee reported it spent $27 million in the metro area, while RTD saw a 12 percent spike in ridership during the convention.

The convention also inspired the group American Right to Life Action to make this giant protest sign on North Table Mountain. It was sewn out of 2,400 sheets, and ARTL claimed it was the largest protest sign ever.

So, I guess we’ll have that kind of thing to look forward to?

Want to share an experience from DNC 2008? Email me.

An abortion protest sign on North Table Mountain outside Denver during the 2008 Democratic National Convention. (Rachel Troyer/public domain)
An abortion protest sign on North Table Mountain outside Denver during the 2008 Democratic National Convention. (Rachel Troyer/public domain)

Andrew Kenney

Author: Andrew Kenney

Andrew Kenney writes about public spaces, Denver phenomena and whatever else. He previously worked for six years as a reporter at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. His most prized possession is his collection of bizarre voicemail. Leave him one at 303-502-2803, or email akenney@denverite.com.