Tarrant County leaders are making it known that the county is interested in hosting the Republican National Convention if Charlotte is not able to host in August as scheduled.
President Donald Trump has threatened to move the convention because of North Carolina’s coronavirus-related health restrictions.
According to Gov. Greg Abbott, the Texas Republican Party has already extended an invitation to host the convention.
The latest news from around North Texas.
Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley said there are several venues in the county that could hold the convention, including Dickies Arena in Fort Worth and AT&T Stadium and Globe Life Field in Arlington.
“I have talked with both Mayor Price as well as Mayor Williams and they are both at least considering or looking at the possibility,” Whitley said.
The convention with its delegates and attendees has an estimated $200 million economic impact.
“If you bring $200 million worth of business into the community, then that’s going to help the cities from a sales tax standpoint, but it’s going to help those businesses that for many months have been shut down or partially shut down,” Whitley said.'
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins had reservations about his county’s involvement.
“The last thing we need right now is a large gathering of nationwide visitors coming to Dallas given we are currently at “red” our highest threat level for [COVID-19]. No offense. Would say the same thing to the Democrats —please go somewhere else,” Jenkins said in a tweet.
Whitley said the large Tarrant County venues could allow for social distancing.
“If this was at AT&T Stadium that might mean [using] every other seat without even taking into account the stadium floor. There’s a lot of different ways that we can go about trying to maintain a little of that distance,” Whitley said. “This is a big event. Somebody’s got to be the first. If we can be that first, I’m OK with giving it a shot.”