Says Prudential Center in Newark Would be Ideal Venue for 2016 Political Conventions
TRENTON – This week, Senator Richard J. Codey sent letters to the chairmen of the Democratic and Republican National Committees to urge the two organizations to consider basing their 2016 national political conventions in New Jersey.
“The Garden State certainly has the infrastructure and amenities to support a major national, political event like the 2016 party conventions,” said Senator Codey, D-Essex. “With our proximity to the World Trade Center site, our mass-transit infrastructure, and our world-class arenas, theaters, hotels and museums, our home state would be an excellent choice to host either the 2016 Democratic National Convention, or the 2016 Republican National Convention. What’s more, it would generate needed tourism revenues for our state and help put New Jersey in the national political spotlight.”
Senator Codey offered the Prudential Center in Newark as the ideal facility for the main convention festivities. He said that The Rock is equipped to handle capacity crowds and showcase premiere events, and is within walking distance to mass transportation. He noted that receptions and other ancillary events could be held throughout downtown Newark at locations like the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the Newark Museum, Symphony Hall, Newark Penn Station, and Rutgers University.
Additionally, the nominee selected by the party to run for president could give his or her acceptance speech at the New Meadowlands Stadium, which is scheduled to host the Super Bowl in 2014, proving that it can easily handle an influx of visiting party delegates.
“I suspect that a lot of the planning and preparation going into hosting the Super Bowl could be translated to hosting a national political convention,” said Senator Codey. “If it works for one, it could easily be adapted to the other. We won’t have to reinvent the wheel in planning for a national party convention.”
Senator Codey also noted that the prevalence of mass transit in northern New Jersey, from the NJ Transit train and bus system, to the PATH train system, to the New York Subway system, would allow event coordinators to put together the first ever “green transportation” convention. Given the importance of sustainable environmental practices and the need to conserve natural resources, stamping a “green” label on the national political convention would make a statement about the party’s commitment to alternative energy and environmental preservation.
“New Jersey already has the mass transit transportation infrastructure in place to accommodate a national political convention, and to promote green transportation practices,” said Senator Codey. “Going green would allow either political party to say that they support emerging technology and environmental safeguards to preserve our limited natural resources and reduce our reliance on foreign oil.”
Additionally, the number of hotels in the metropolitan area would provide ample lodging for the thousands of visitors expected to attend a national political convention.
Senator Codey said that there’s a precedent for New Jersey hosting a national political convention. In 1964, the Democratic National Convention took place in Atlantic City, in which incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson was selected to run for re-election. The Republican National Convention has never taken place in the Garden State.
“The Newark / North Jersey metropolitan region would be an ideal candidate to host the 2016 national party conventions of either the Democratic Party, or the Republican Party,” said Senator Codey. “We have the means, the capability and the will. At the end of the day, it would be an excellent opportunity for the parties to reach out to a large block of voters, and would showcase the best aspects of the Garden State to the nation, and the world.”