Here are texts of the prepared remarks made by Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and local Republican stalwart Al Austin, who was instrumental in bringing the convention to Tampa.
The Hon. Bob Buckhorn, mayor of Tampa
To Chairman Priebus and to my fellow Americans who have traveled from every corner of this great country to be in Tampa today, thank you for the honor to be hosting the 2012 Republican National Convention.
Your faith and trust in us is much appreciated.
Now, let me tell you about my city.
We were built by people who worked hard and dreamed big.
Immigrant families came here from Germany, Spain, Italy, and Cuba. They were cigar rollers and port workers.
They were the economic engine that powered Tampa Bay.
Today, we are a city that represents all that is good about America.
We are leading Florida out of the recession. Unemployment is declining faster here than almost anywhere else.
We are one of the fastest growing cities in the country.
We've been called one of the best American cities to do business.
We are attracting some of the brightest young people who want to be part of our tech industry.
We are curing diseases -- on the cutting edge of science and health care.
And, Tampa remains proud to be the home of MacDill Air Force Base - the headquarters of the United States Central Command and Special Operations Command.
I can tell you with certainty that we are open for business and are ready to embrace all that the future holds.
As mayor, I stand here today representing an extraordinary group of law enforcement, fire rescue personnel, and thousands of local volunteers. They have worked hard to make this convention a success.
Each of them, proud Americans, excited to be part of the democratic process and eager to tell Tampa's story to the world.
I trust you will fall in love with our city just as I do every day.
Have a great week in Tampa!
Tampa Host Committee Chairman Al Austin
It has been my pleasure to serve as chairman of the 2012 Tampa Bay Host Committee. On behalf of the Tampa Bay community, welcome. We're glad you are here.
You may know that we were finalists for the last two conventions, which ultimately went to New York City and then to Minneapolis/St. Paul. Apparently, the third time is a charm.
With more than 15,000 members of the media here from around the globe, I am pleased that Tampa Bay will no longer be the best kept secret in the world.
For me, to stand on this stage, in this city, is the realization of a long-time dream.
There has not been a convention for either party in the state of Florida since 1972. That same year, I was a delegate to the convention in Miami Beach. I have been a delegate or alternate at every convention since then.
And I've been working hard at building my community, and creating jobs and opportunity for the Tampa Bay area.
Having you all here in this Forum will have a significant impact on the future of our region.
Because you chose us, thousands of people have the opportunity to get to know our people, our businesses, our attractions -- and our food.
You are creating jobs for caterers, waiters, taxi drivers, and so many more Floridians. And you are filling up hotel rooms that often sit empty after the summer tourism season ends and families head back for their children to start school.
So thank you for stimulating our economy. Hundreds of volunteers have spent countless hours to prepare for the next few days.
We trust that you will enjoy our city and our hospitality, and that you come back often.
Thank you for entrusting us with the great honor of hosting the 2012 Republican National Convention.