De Blasio: Democratic National Convention in Brooklyn will mean 'a lot of money flowing'
The disruption to everyday commuters and residents in summer 2016 would be "limited and brief" if Brooklyn wins its bid to host the Democratic National Convention, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.
The event would bring more than 30,000 attendees to the city, many of whom would stay in Manhattan hotels and travel to Brooklyn's Barclays Center -- the proposed convention hall -- via traffic lanes, subways and ferries dedicated for convention-goers' use, City Hall officials have said.
But de Blasio in a news conference outside Barclays said the presidential nominating convention would likely take place in July or August, when more residents are on vacation, and the major events would likely occur over four nights.
"We all know there will be some congestion. We all know there will be some challenges," he said. "But there's going to be a lot of money flowing."
Park Slope resident Nelsena Spano, who was at Barclays on Monday during a news conference other officials held in support of the bid, said it would be a "mistake" to hold the convention in Brooklyn. "There's going to be major traffic jams," she said.
De Blasio said the convention cost to taxpayers would be about $10 million, and Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen on Monday said the city can expect hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity.
De Blasio accompanied a team of DNC scouts on their second and last day of touring New York City and reviewing fundraising, transportation, lodging and other logistical aspects of the bid.
They had traveled to Barclays on Tuesday morning from midtown Manhattan's Rockefeller Center by subway, taking a special B train that sped directly to the arena without other station stops. De Blasio said the ride took 25 minutes. An MTA spokesman said regular subway service was not delayed or otherwise disrupted.
The ease of travel between boroughs for delegates, members of the media and other convention attendees that would descend on the city has been one major test for the administration.
DNC chief executive Amy Dacey on Tuesday said it was too "premature" to assess Brooklyn's chances of winning the bid.
The DNC's schedule Tuesday also included a luncheon at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and a barbecue dinner at Gracie Mansion.
In scouting convention sites, the DNC has visited Birmingham, Alabama; and Columbus, Ohio; it will next tour Philadelphia and Phoenix.
With Dan Rivoli