CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Queen City is just days away from finding out if the city will host the 2020 Republican National Convention. The Republican National Committee is expected to make a decision this week in Austin, Texas.
On Monday, the Charlotte City Council voted 6-5 to accept contracts to host the Republican National Convention in 2020.
While the Wall Street Journal reports that Charlotte will beat out Las Vegas as the host city, the Charlotte City Council decided Monday to accept the $50 million in federal money that would go towards preparing for the RNC.
When Charlotte formally submitted the bid in April, Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority CEO Tom Murray said in a statement that hosting the RNC will not only generate "substantial economic impact" but also place the Queen City on a national stage.
The Democratic National Convention, held in Charlotte in 2012, generated an economic impact of more than $163 million to the Queen City. To put that number in perspective, the highly-anticipated 2019 NBA All-Star Game is expected to bring an estimated $100 million to the city of Charlotte.
Charlotte City Council released an executive summary of RNC contract. The contract said if the city's costs exceed $50 million, the host committee will be asked to pick up the tab.
MAYOR SAYS BRING ON RNC:
Vi Lyles is a Democrat, but she's long been a cheerleader for hosting President Trump and the Republican Party for their national convention in 2020. Lyles said the economic impact of having the RNC in the Queen City is something that can't be ignored and it would show the nation that Charlotte is inclusive for everyone.
Lyles released the following statement earlier in the week:
“The current political climate with all its divisive rhetoric and harmful policies, does not represent my values or the values of most Charlotteans. But if Charlotte is the site of the RNC, we can show that our city is about inclusion and leverage it as an opportunity to demonstrate our values of respect while honoring our differences.”
NOT SO FAST:
As Lyles and much of the Queen City gets ready to host the 2020 RNC, several Democratic leaders said they would vote against holding the event.
Three Democrats on Charlotte's city council, Dimple Ajmera, Justin Harlow and LaWana Mayfield, said they would vote against hosting the RNC.
Ajmera in a statement wrote, “Taxpayers will be on the hook for potential liability, unknown risk, and exposure.”
Last week, Justin Hawlow tweeted in part, "I will not support the bid for the #RNC2020 in CLT.”
Julie Eiselt, Charlotte Mayor Pro Tem, appeared on WBT Radio earlier in the month and said she supported the convention as long as taxpayers don’t get stuck with paying all the security costs.
“I have said that I won’t put the city in a position to have that kind of liability. If the Host Committee wants to assume it that’s fine, but that’s my only condition,” Eiselt told WBT Radio.
Tariq Bokhari said he was a “firm yes” for hosting 2020 RNC, disputing Ajmera’s claim that the convention contract will hurt taxpayers.
Other Democrats on the council were undecided how they would vote on the issue. Braxton Winston, a Democrat, said he wanted more discussion before any vote.
“If you are going to bring something to town that is potentially violent, divisive, then we should ask the people of Charlotte how they feel about that as well,” Winston said earlier in the month.
Greg Phipps did not say which way he was leaning.
WHAT TO EXPECT IF RNC COMES TO CHARLOTTE:
With GOP’s biggest names expected to appear in the 2020 national convention, safety will be one of the biggest concerns should RNC comes to Charlotte.
Protesters have been a fixture at President Donald Trump's events and RNC would be no exception. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police spokesperson Rob Tufano said it's still too early to comment about how much, if any, CMPD's started planning for the event.
"We had a successful convention here several years back," Tufano said during the department's weekly news conference earlier in the week.
He said there's still an important process left to be played out but promised Charlotteans the city is prepared if given the chance.
"They can be assured, the community, the country, the world, Charlotte, that we've got the best and brightest police department on Earth, planet Earth, that will manage it if we're fortunate enough to be awarded that bid," he said.
One factor that increases Charlotte’s chances of hosting a safe convention, if given the chance, is that the city has done it before. The 2012 DNC was the largest event in Charlotte's history as it drew over 5,000 delegates, media and visitors.
The Queen City won praise for staging the convention, even as hundreds of demonstrators held protests, as there were no serious incidents or violence.
One year after the Queen City hosted the 2012 DNC, former Charlotte city council member Edwin Peacock told NBC Charlotte he could not have asked for a better outcome.
"It was a game changer for Charlotte. Obviously redefined who we are, globally," Peacock said of the 2012 convention.
"They saw what I've always seen: Charlotte is a very efficient, southern city," Peacock said in 2013.
Stick with WCNC.com for the latest updates on Charlotte's bid for the 2020 Republican National Convention.