Duval County

Mayor: Republican National Convention being hosted in Jacksonville is a ‘tremendous opportunity’

DUVAL COUNTY, Fla. — Despite some concerns, Mayor Lenny Curry said in a news conference Friday morning that being chosen to host the 2020 Republican National Convention in Jacksonville is a “tremendous opportunity.”

The official announcement was made Thursday night that the event will be held at the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena in late August.

Numerous cities were considered, but in the end, Jacksonville was chosen.

Curry believes hosting the convention is a great opportunity for economic development and will get small businesses, which closed because of the pandemic, back on their feet. He also noted it will be a chance to showcase to the world what Jacksonville has to offer.

Here are some key takeaways from Curry’s news conference:

  • In reference to concerns about the potential spread of the coronavirus, Curry says leaders will put the safety of people first. The city will take whatever precautions that are necessary at that time to protect people and will have to continue to act responsibly. The percentage of positive COVID-19 cases in the area remains at 2.7%. Data shows that Jacksonville has flattened the curve for weeks now and that hospitalizations are down significantly in Duval County, Curry stated.
  • The RNC is not an event paid for by the city of Jacksonville.
  • There will be a host committee that is a nonprofit group with no party affiliation, that will make sure the event runs smoothly and safely.
  • There is federal funding that will bring additional resources to the city to help with the convention, including law enforcement from other counties who will aid in the event.
  • There will be more announcements regarding the RNC in the days ahead.
  • Hotel capacity for an event of this size exists in the city.