Denver Convention By the Numbers

The Democratic National Convention in Denver was a success. How so? Some numbers:

  • The Denver Host Committee, which lagged behind its fundraising goal until the end, ended up raising $10 million more than its $40.6 million goal.
  • At the Republican convention in New York in 2004, there were 1,800 arrests. Total arrests in Denver: 154.
  • The Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau secured 190,000 hotel rooms. 170,000 were put reserved by the DNC.


"I hope no one will ask me again whether Denver has enough hotel rooms," said Richard Scharf, the bureau's chief executive officer.

  • Road closures: "Only a third of the number of roads and highways that were closed for the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston.
  • Denver got 113 new trees and 120 planter pots.

On the security plan, while some people I've talked to think there was too much security, I didn't have any problems with it and thought it was far less obtrusive than that in Boston. The Secret Service said today the security plan in Denver was a huge success and will be the model for future events.

"The Secret Service said yesterday that we have set the standard for how a convention, in terms of security, should be run," Katherine Archuleta, a senior policy adviser to Mayor John Hickenlooper and his point-person on DNC planning, said Friday.

That's not to say it was not without incident. According to Denver police Lt. Ron Saunier:

"We had a couple instances out there where unnecessary force was alleged," Saunier said. "We immediately took action and looked at (those allegations) to determine if a case needed to be opened in our Internal Affairs."

As to dollars, all expenses were covered by fundraising, but what about income? Those numbers aren't in yet. But, as Mayor John Hickenlooper said today,

Hickenlooper said he saw benefits that can't be quantified in dollars and cents. "A huge part of the benefit is not just how the world looks at us but how we look at ourselves," Hickenlooper said.

He recalled one of his 2003 campaign themes: "Federico Peña imagined a great city, Wellington Webb built a great city, now it's time to be a great city."

Denver is a great city. I'm so glad the world got a chance to see it.

For me, being at Invesco Field last night was as much about Denver and the 84,000 people who attended as it was about the candidates and the election. As Sen. Obama repeatedly said, "This election isn't about me, it's about you."

Denver didn't just shine last night, it soared.

Congratulations to Denver, the DNC Host Committee, the DNC and all who worked so hard to make the convention such a resounding success.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Jeralyn, (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Gabriele Droz on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 01:21:41 AM EST
    there is less than enthusiasm for you since you came back from Colorado.  You seem tainted, in some away, and away from the things you fought for.

    Just speaking for me, the standard here.

    Transporter mishap? (none / 0) (#16)
    by CMike on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 02:45:58 AM EST
    Jeralyn thinks the Democratic National Convention was a success because corporate plutocrats unexpectedly came through with an extra $10 million of payola.

    Ever see that Star Trek episode with good Kirk and evil Kirk?


    Jeralyn, (none / 0) (#18)
    by indy in sc on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 07:06:36 AM EST
    I remain enthusiastic about you.  I don't have to agree with everything you say and do in order to appreciate you.  Thank you for all your hard work and for providing a site that provides a lot of information not available elsewhere and where people can express their opinions (however misguided ;)).

    Thank you also for taking us behind the scenes at the convention.

    I'm happy that the city of Denver came off well in the national spotlight!


    She lives here. (none / 0) (#20)
    by echinopsia on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 09:39:26 AM EST
    I was really rooting for Denver (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Lil on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 09:09:40 AM EST
    I lived in Ft. Collins for a year and went to college in Greeley. Traveled all over the 4 corners area. My biggest regret was that I didn't spend enough time in Denver. I always loved Colorado and never could figure why it was always a "red" state (except for the parts that are literally the color red, like Garden of the Gods). The parts I visited seemed pretty liberal to me. Thanks for the report.

    Lessons learned and quickly implemented (4.00 / 4) (#14)
    by MikeDitto on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 12:45:53 AM EST
    The police presence was militant and aggressive on Monday with hundreds of police in full riot gear, clearly planning for the promised 50,000+ protesters that didn't turn out. They had armored vehicles that looked like tanks, and carried their pepper ball guns in a ready-to-shoot stance. They would not speak to people even so much as to give directions, and would bark at anyone who approached. They marched around menacingly in a far too overt display of force that just served to antagonize the few protesters and frighten the rest of the people.

    By Tuesday, the tanks had been replaced with Dodge Durangos and standard vans, the number of visible police was drastically scaled back, and the city became vibrant with far less tension. By Wednesday, the riot gear was off (but stored accessibly nearby) and the police were enjoying the sunny day and yukking it up with convention goers and even protesters.

    By the end, save a couple of isolated reports, the police force seemed to be enjoying themselves as much as the delegates were. The clubs, bars, and restaurants were hopping, and traffic moved surprisingly well. Sunday before the convention I was filled with dread that I would be caught up in a crowd of stampeding protesters escaping clouds of tear gas and water canons.

    On Thursday night I had a beer with an off-duty cop who said the convention was the most fun he'd ever had on the job. And better still, he says all his friends on the force are voting Obama when the week before it was all McCain talk all the time. And it wasn't Obama who won them over, but the tens of thousands of committed, friendly Democrats whose conversations they overheard while they were doing their job.

    Troll-rated? Really? (none / 0) (#21)
    by MikeDitto on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 10:21:19 AM EST
    Was my comment particularly trollish?

    Biggest numbers (3.00 / 2) (#2)
    by zvs888 on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 10:55:24 PM EST
    Biggest numbers though have to be the speeches on TV (not even considering online); Hillary getting 26M viewers and Obama hitting at least 40-45M (38.3M in between the 10 networks and 3M from PBS plus millions more on CSPAN).

    Compare that to Kerry and at least twice as many people heard Obama's acceptance speech on TV and a lot more online.

    They mentioned on the news (none / 0) (#10)
    by Grace on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 11:27:58 PM EST
    Obama's speech was seen by more people than the Olympics Opening ceremony.  

    WOW!  That's a lot of people!  


    Around the world? (5.00 / 0) (#11)
    by Cream City on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 11:45:51 PM EST
    I read that the Olympics ceremony was, of course, broadcast in an incredible number of countries.

    Or is this just U.S. numbers vs. U.S. numbers?


    US vs US figures (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by JoeA on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 03:58:45 AM EST
    Not that there were not any watchers overseas,  I was watching the HD stream on demconvention.com at 4am here in the UK.

    Does not compute! (none / 0) (#13)
    by WaywardBillAmerika on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 12:44:18 AM EST
    Not relevant to subject matter.

    Do you know (none / 0) (#24)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 12:39:33 PM EST
    viewing numbers for Bill Clinton speech?

    Palin vs. "the Speech" (3.00 / 2) (#4)
    by RedSox04 on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 11:05:25 PM EST
    Dems need to stfu about Palin already.  She's a VP nominee.  Let's talk about Obama's speech, and John McCain's extremist stances.  

    Hear, hear (3.66 / 3) (#8)
    by janarchy on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 11:17:03 PM EST
    I can't believe how many people are carrying on about it as if the sky was falling and/or someone was holding a gun to their head and forcing them to vote for her. She wasn't picked for them in the first place.

    The best course of action is to ignore her. If she wasn't such a threat to these people, then why are they so freaked out?


    This is not an open thread (none / 0) (#9)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 11:24:40 PM EST
    It's about the convention, not Palin. Please stay on topic.

    And 20,000 volunteers (1.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Cream City on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 10:47:07 PM EST
    who got a t-shirt and a box lunch for it -- and were great.  So said Jo Freeman at SeniorWomen.  She got it from some Dem official and is trying to verify it, but wrote that she could believe it from what she saw.

    That number is really impressive.

    I was a volunteer. (none / 0) (#3)
    by echinopsia on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 10:59:23 PM EST
    I donated days of my time to driving people around for the DNC.

    I didn't get squat - no T-shirt, no box lunch, no thank you.


    thank you (none / 0) (#5)
    by RedSox04 on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 11:06:10 PM EST
    i don't have a box lunch for you.

    I expected a post-convention party (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by echinopsia on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 11:10:39 PM EST
    for all us volunteers, at least. It seems like a strange oversight that there wasn't one. Every other organization or event I've volunteered for has had one.

    Counter~Delegate Speaks (none / 0) (#23)
    by WaywardBillAmerika on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 09:38:38 PM EST
    I volunteered and was a Counter~Delegate at the Festival of Democracy (Counter~Convention).  I got several tshirts, fed, watered, and enlightened to the fact that just maybe next election we can do away with the two party system and the electoral college to boot.
    Wayward Bill Amerika

    Counter~Delegate Speaks (none / 0) (#12)
    by WaywardBillAmerika on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 12:08:39 AM EST
    All and all the Democratic National Convention and The Festival of Democracy (Come Up To Denver), Tent State University, and the Rage Against the Machine concert gave everyone what they wanted, maybe?
    Having only 154 arrests is a sign that the expectations of ReCreate '68 didn't create the political Woodstock it could have been.  I err on the positive side.  The protesting got done, the left non~profits got out their message at their booths, and there were more marijuana events that you could take a toke at.

    A high time was had by all, Delegates and Counter Delegates!

    To be fair to the brothers and sisters I volunteered for I am remaining neutral as to their agenda in this missive.

    I personally thought that both events were well planned.  The street actions and you knew there going to be street theater paled in the lack of shoulder to shoulder strength.  Solidarity among all participating could have a plus.  Hey I am from the me, me, me generation I just didn't sell out. I did stick to my agenda and spread the word.

    When not aligned to the non's, I did late night commandeering of the free 16th Street Mall Shuttle.  I used the shuttles as a mobile soapbox and talked about the drug war and the legalization of marijuana here in Denver and as a whole. BTW, I live here.  I only had one hostile person, a drunk young woman.  Thank you boyfriend.  To be on the chill side I waited until they got off the bus.

    I also did the mall crawl and yakked it up with people at a couple of restaurants and pubs.  I believe that my revolutionary approach would be worth as an addendum to Che's, Guerilla Warfare.

    My coups included being asked by a badge wearing undercover about what I thought about his 13 year niece getting caught wit pot paraphernalia I gave advice but only from personal experience.  Didn't want to give legal advice.  My other was talking with a un~named US city top official.  Got my message to him,  didn't seem to stick because he's in a state the weed is a major cash crop.  Phun talking with him because of the un~named location & un~named ambiance he was being provided.  Yet talking with him got other nearby patrons alistin' and a askin'

    What you don't know, learn.  What you do know, teach!

    The Counter~Convention Rocked!

    Thanks for coming up to Denver, Dana & Aaron!

    If I don't see you in the future, I'll see you in the pasture,

    Wayward Bill Amerika

    That "successful" security plan (none / 0) (#22)
    by Ben Masel on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 10:51:27 AM EST
    included pre-emptive gassing, shooting w rubber bullets, and arrests of folks the police susdpected would later engage in disruptive protests. Thought crime. Jeralyn, your assessment seems to show a degree of hometown boosterism.

    As a solo protester, "STOP GOVERNMENT SPYING," I didn't encounter too many problems, mostly hotels who'd been told by the Mayor they "owned the sidewalk for the week." I'd ask to see the deed. Kudos to the Marriot's manager who over-rode his security staff, admitting to the fabrication of title.