When basketball star LeBron James announced last week that he's returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers, there was some concern that the Cavaliers' good fortune could complicate the Republican National Committee's plans to host the 2016 convention in Cleveland.
City officials, however, insist there's room for both James and the RNC -- even if James takes the Cavaliers to the NBA finals in 2016. Should the Cavaliers go to the finals, their arena could be double-booked on June 28, the RNC's preferred convention date.
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"We've worked through all of these contingencies," Terry Egger, the chair of Cleveland's host committee, told ABC. "For all of the [host] cities that had NBA teams, [playoff basketball] was one of the considerations you had to put into the equation."
The RNC last week also noted that it could rely on a backup date for its convention, July 18. "All options remain on the table as we're still very early on in the negotiation process," RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said.
The decision to host the convention in Cleveland isn't final -- the full RNC must vote on the matter this August.
Still, local officials are already tallying the economic benefit: Cuyahoga County officials said Monday that James' return to Cleveland could have a $500 million annual impact on the local economy, while the RNC convention could bring in $200 million for the city.