Preparing for the 2012 convention: the biggest event ever seen in Tampa Bay
TAMPA — Think of hosting an event as big as the Super Bowl. Now multiply that by four or five.
That's pretty much what we're looking at with the 2012 Republican National Convention. It will be the biggest event ever held in Tampa Bay.
Fifty thousand guests, delegates and dignitaries packing every major hotel within 35 minutes of downtown Tampa over four days. Fifteen thousand journalists from around the world and potentially more than 10,000 protesters. More than 1,000 breakfasts, lunches, receptions and blowout bashes at venues from Ybor City to downtown St. Petersburg. A security zone like the area has never seen.
"We're talking about a Super Bowl on steroids," said Santiago Corrada, who is coordinating convention planing for the city of Tampa. "We're talking about five Super Bowls on four to five consecutive days."
Sixteen months before the big week — the one starting Aug. 27, 2012 — plenty of people are getting ready.