TAMPA — The 2012 Republican National Convention has chosen an Orlando transportation company to run the fleet of 300 charter buses needed to carry 5,000 conventioneers around Tampa Bay in August.
SP Plus Gameday will take delegates, alternates and guests between an estimated 95 officially designated convention hotels and the St. Pete Times Forum, where the GOP will name its presidential nominee.
Convention organizers said Monday that SP Plus Gameday was selected after a nationally advertised competitive search.
The company provided transportation management services for Super Bowl XLIII at Raymond James Stadium in 2009, the 2008 NCAA women's basketball Final Four played at the St. Pete Times Forum, and the 1999 NCAA men's basketball Final Four played at Tropicana Field.
That local transportation experience was "critically important" in the selection, according to convention chief executive officer William Harris.
The company also has provided transportation services for the 2005 presidential inauguration, multiple summer and winter Olympics, Major League Baseball and National Hockey League all-star games, NASCAR races and major college football bowl games. Including Tampa's last Super Bowl, it has worked 15 NFL championships and is making plans for Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis.
The 2012 Republican National Convention will be held from Aug. 27-30 and is expected to draw nearly 50,000 visitors.