SAN ANTONIO – The idea of San Antonio playing host to the 2020 Republican National Convention is getting mixed reviews.
Mayor Ron Nirenberg has expressed fiscal concerns and has said that he has reservations about spending millions of taxpayer dollars to subsidize a political convention.
The manager of President Trump’s re-election campaign, Brad Parscale, claimed in a tweet that hosting the convention would give the city hundreds of millions of dollars worth of national and international exposure.
Coming soon to #SanAntonio: another mayor makes an epic political mistake that takes a possible 200MM from the community. Why??? I want to rip the last hair I have out of my head. Maybe he is just waiting on Mayor Sculley to decide for him. @Ron_Nirenberg @ExpressNews @News4SA— Brad Parscale (@parscale) April 25, 2018
The talk of hosting the convention is also getting the attention of the local hotel industry.
"Regardless of whose name is on it, a convention of this size is huge business for the hotel industry," said Liza Barratachea, president and CEO of the San Antonio Hotel and Lodging Association.
She said she is confident that the local industry can handle the huge influx of politicians and press that a convention would bring to the city.
"There are approximately 350 hotels in San Antonio," she said. "There are about 90 in the downtown core, probably 45 near the airport and another 30 out (on) Interstate 10," Barratachea said.
She said that as the city learned from hosting NCAA basketball's Final Four tournament, an event of this magnitude generates money beyond the hotel industry through taxes and business in other areas.
"We know that it would be another great opportunity for us to bid on as a business industry," she said.
Nirenberg has said that he hopes to meet with his council colleagues sometime next week to discuss the possibility of submitting a bid.