The host committee of the 2020 Republican National Convention would pay Charlotte for costs that are not covered by an expected $50 million federal grant, according to the city’s summary of two key contracts.
Some City Council members have expressed concern over convention costs, such as for an expanded police presence, that could be passed to taxpayers. City officials refused last week to provide the contracts to the Observer and other news outlets, but Sunday night released a summary of them.
The contracts are contingent on the Republican National Committee picking Charlotte as the host city, a decision that city leaders expect this week. Key points of the framework agreement among the RNC, the host committee, the city, Mecklenburg County and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority:
- The city will provide police, fire and emergency medical services during a convention to be held in July or August 2020. A specific date is to be announced by Sept. 15.
- The city will execute a traffic control plan and temporarily relocate uptown’s Transit Center at a cost to be covered by the committee.
Those costs are expected to be reimbursed by a federal grant of about $50 million.
The host committee, which will raise money to stage the convention, will pay the city for costs not covered by the federal grant. The committee will also provide insurance covering the city, county, CRVA and RNC from convention-related losses.
The city can terminate the agreement if the grant doesn’t come through by March 2020, unless the city and the host committee find funding elsewhere. If the city ultimately cancels the agreement because the grant wasn’t issued by that deadline, the host committee will cover the city’s costs up to that point.
The CRVA will let the host committee use the Convention Center rent-free and offer the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Bojangles’ Coliseum and Ovens Auditorium at standard rates.
A separate contract addresses the use of the city-owned Spectrum Center, home of the Charlotte Hornets, to stage the convention. It says:
The city will let the host committee make alterations to Spectrum, with city oversight, but expect restoration of the facility to its original condition after the event.
The committee will create a reserve fund to pay for the facility’s restoration, while the construction manager it hires will post a performance bond covering the costs of alterations and restoration.
The host committee will be responsible for restoration costs not covered by the reserve fund or bond. The Hornets would be responsible for any costs the committee doesn’t pay.
The committee will buy insurance to protect the city, CRVA, the Hornets and the RNC from liabilities stemming from the convention.