More convention musings

I’m still intrigued by the logistical nightmare — or dream — that the ’08 convention presents to St. Paul, I mean the Twin Cities.

Cathy Wurzer talked to a guy today who handled putting together the ’88 confab in Atlanta. (Listen).

As the gentleman mentioned, this was before 9/11. “I can’t imagine what’s security like today.”

Marty Moylan has just put up a story analyzing the impact.

He quotes Frank Conte, a spokesman for Beacon Hill, which assessed what the convention brought to the “hub.”

-Security: Police overtime can be the least of it. In Boston in

2004, the Secret Service ordered a major interstate closed because

it ran near the convention site, causing problems for commuters.

-Increased spending to get ready for the convention. Conte said

it appeared that Boston hurried to negotiate a new union contract

with police, perhaps giving away too much, so it would be wrapped

up before the convention.

-Cities forget that if the convention hadn’t come to town, some

other event would have drawn people.

And convention-goers don’t eat out much, often grabbing the free

food offered by businesses.

“It’s a myth that restaurants benefit,” he said.

And he also notes that Los Angeles said “no thanks” when invited to submit a bid. Why?

One thing I remember about Boston (and I’m from there) is the number of cops. They were brought in from every suburban department, as far away as Central Massachusetts and Cape Cod as well as the entire Massachusetts State Police force. There was mandatory two week overtime.

Let’s just say, nobody will be stopping you for speeding on I-94.

I was also listening to Elizabeth Stawicki’s piece this morning with area restauranteurs and hospitals.

You know what business I kept thinking about? Seven Corners Hardware (the world’s greatest hardware store, by the way). Guys in pick-ups aren’t going to be allowed anywhere near there. What’s a business like that supposed to do?

Oh, by the way, — and completely unrelated to the post — I was going through my old musings from the Democratic National Convention and stumbled across this picture of the “blogger” section…wayyyyyyyyy up top of the Fleet Center (now called something else but always Boston Garden in my heart).


I wonder if the blogosphere has earned its stripes enough to get a better spot in ’08.

  • MR

    94 runs pretty close to the Xcel Center. Wouldn’t it be “fun” if they shut that down…

  • Bob Collins

    It will happen, but not for an extended period.

    Here’s the thing. There’ll be a blocked lane or two of highways and streets EXCLUSIVELY for delegate busses coming to and from the Xcel. So, I presume that will knock a lane of 494 and 35E from Bloomington, and 94.

    Then, you’ll have Bush in town for a night or two. I don’t know if he’ll stay at the St. Paul or not but I’d guess the main convention hotel will be in Minneapolis so there’ll be lots of reduced lanes and closed highways from time to time there.

    But, hey, at least there’s a good chance by 2008, you’ll be able to get some lunch in downtown St. Paul after 2 p.m.! (g)

  • lily

    Isn’t that the same time as the “Great Minnesota Get-Together” aka State Fair..

    how many GOP hopefuls will be pumping hands there..

    can you see it now… Pronto pups, the GOP, and security at the Fair? not to mention traffic is rather horrid those few days anyway…