CLEVELAND -- About a dozen political, civic and business leaders will spend the weekend refining and rehearsing the presentation they will deliver Monday to Republicans who will decide where to put the party's 2016 presidential convention.
They expect to get some questions about possible concerns with Cleveland's bid.
Some questions they might face:
- Will the new Convention Center Hotel be done on time for a June or July convention?
The project is already on a fast-track. But could there be a Sochi-like situation where delegates and guests are arriving as walls are being painted and plumbing's getting connected?
Jeff Appelbaum, the point man overseeing the project, says that won't happen. There is a plan to have hotel workers being trained as work on the hotel is being completed that should assure the hotel is ready for conventioneers.
- Will Quciken Loans Arena be available?
There is a potential conflict. The NBA requires all facilities to be available to host playoff basketball. If the Cleveland Cavaliers advanced in the playoffs, there could be a conflict. The NBA won't relent on the requirement. Republicans want control of the facility six weeks before their convention.
Cleveland will argue that, if need be, the site preparation work could be done under the gun in four weeks to be convention-ready. This is an issue for all NBA and NFL cities, including competitors Phoenix, Dallas and Columbus.
- Will the loss of Cleveland's United hub pose a problem?
It was a nice plus to have on Cleveland's list of assets before the announcement it's going away, and Columbus and Cincinnati don't have hubs. Dallas is an American hub. But WKYC's been told that United has agreed to temporarily upgrade its service during the convention to enhance Cleveland's bid.
The host team will tell planners that the corporate community has pledged to raise needed local funding and that there will be more than the required number of hotel rooms within 45 minutes once a batch of new hotels, including the Convention Center flagship, are built.
Cleveland's ready to put its best foot forward Monday. Many observers consider it a long shot.
But the team that's prepared Cleveland's bid believes it could be a winner if the Republicans decide the city suits their political goals. Its immediate objective is to make it to the next round of cities that will be visited, believing the city can help sell itself if decision-makers actually see it.
Cleveland made it to that level in 2006, and did not get the prize.
As the effort to woo Republicans faces a crucial day, the city was also represented at the Democrats' winter meeting, trying to lay groundwork for a bid there if need be.
Weather permitting, I'll be in Washington Monday as Cleveland makes its case.
Follow Tom Beres on Twitter @TomBeres for updates.