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U.S. Bank Arena not modern enough for Republican convention, would cost 90 million to renovate

CINCINNATI (Jeff Hirsh) -- There are four places in the U.S. where the Republican party's National Convention may end up, but one of them is not U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati.

The 40-year-old arena, oldest of any in the cities being considered by the GOP, is a key reason why Cincinnati did not make the cut for the next round of possible convention sites.

Despite its age, the arena has hosted 100 events within the past year, including some really large events.

U.S. Bank Arena has rocked the riverfront with concerts like Bruce Springsteen, The Eagles, Bruno Mars, and Pearl Jam will open its nationwide tour there in the fall.

But this arena was the stumbling block for Cincinnati making the next cut for the 2016 Republican National Convention.

The privately owned arena issued a statement saying, in part, that although U.S. Bank Arena met all initial requirements from the convention's request for proosal, addional convention specific criteria were added after the site visit and proved to be difficult to facilitate.

For example, temporary modifications for TV platforms were not doable, at least not financially.

But what about long term? A total makeover of the facility could cost $90 million dollars.

The answer is obviously no, even if it would bring in more concerts and conventions. County Commissioner Hartmann hoped the Republican Convention push would lead to the University of Cincinnati moving its basketball games to U.S. Bank Arena, providing the revenue stream needed for a fix up.

But UC seems to be leaning towards staying on campus. Mayor John Cranley says despite the GOP convention setback, Cincinnati has a lot to offer for conventions and concerts.

Cincinnati did make it through the first round of cuts for the Republican convention, and the other city eliminated in yesterday's cuts was Convention City USA, Las Vegas. There are a lot of hotels there, but their arena also not modern enough. 
The four cities still in the running for the Republican convention are Dallas, Denver, Cleveland and Kansas City. They all have far more private suites than U.S. Bank Arena-- another apparent reason why Cincinnati did not make the next cut.

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