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GOP Convention Committee Gets A Rowdy Welcome To DFW

Shelley Kofler
Rowdy, the Cowboys mascot, links arms with Enid Mickelsen, chair of the 2016 Republican convention site selection committee, as she arrived at DFW International Airport on Wednesday.

Cowboys mascot Rowdy offered high-fives and several team cheerleaders waved pompoms Wednesday at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport as they welcomed members of the committee choosing a site for the 2016 Republican National Convention.

This is the second round of visits and the final scheduled stop for the 13 committee members.  They’ve already checked out competitors in Cleveland, Kansas City and Denver.

Committee Chair Enid Mickelsen says her team will again be looking at the available hotels and how easily delegates could travel from where they’re staying to events.

And they’ll be checking out Big D’s enthusiasm for playing host.

“Does the community really want to do this? It’s something that’s tough for a community to put on.  It’s expensive. It’s time consuming. It’s a big investment,” Mickelsen said. 

“This is a chance to reintroduce people to the Republican Party and introduce them to our nominee,” she said.

Because the Stars or Mavericks could need the American Airlines Center in June if they make the playoffs, Dallas can only host the convention in July. Mickelsen may have heard Dallas breathe a sigh of relief when she said that isn’t an issue.

“Any arena that has a resident home team, whether it’s the NBA or the hockey league, has the exact same issue," she said. "What we’re really looking for is our best option, whether it’s in June or July.”

Kansas City is the only finalist that has neither an NBA or NHL team.

And for people who thought Denver might have an edge because it hosted the 2008 Democratic convention, Mickelson said that's not a concern.

Committee members will get a closer look at the American Airlines Center Thursday.  That’s where they’d hold their convention if Dallas is selected.

Former KERA staffer Shelley Kofler was news director, managing editor and senior reporter. She is an award-winning reporter and television producer who previously served as the Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter for North Texas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.