By MARK GILLISPIE
CLEVELAND — The Republican National Convention in Cleveland is a bit more than two weeks away, with the start of the four-day political shindig set for Monday, July 18. Some numbers to ponder as Cleveland and the world await the presumptive nomination of Donald Trump as the GOP’s presidential candidate:
As in $64 million, the amount the host committee in Cleveland is obligated by the Republican National Committee raise to pay for the convention. Last week, the host committee said it has collected about $58 million, with officials confident the goal will be met.
Number of times Cleveland has previously hosted a political convention. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge was nominated to run for a full term and easily won election that November. Coolidge became president in 1923 after Ohio native Warren G. Harding died in office. Kansas Gov. Alf Landon won the Republican nomination in 1936 but was trounced by President Franklin Roosevelt in the general election.
The number of volunteer shifts that must be covered by Cleveland “ambassadors” during the convention, with about 6,000 filled so far. Volunteers will serve as greeters at airports and hotels housing delegates and as “wayfinders” for visitors in downtown Cleveland. Presumably, if visitors are looking for authentic Cleveland cuisine, they’ll be sent to Sokolowski’s University Inn, where the pierogi, bratwurst and chicken paprikash is some of the city’s best.
The number of balloons expected to drop from the ceiling of Quicken Loans Arena after the GOP candidate — at this point, Trump is the presumptive choice — accepts the nomination on Thursday, July 21. GOP officials undoubtedly hope there won’t be a repeat of what happened during the 2004 Democratic Convention in Boston, when balloons trickled down instead of rained upon conventioneers, perhaps a harbinger for then-U.S. Sen. John Kerry’s failed presidential bid. There were confetti problems in Boston, as well.
The number of credentialed media members expected to cover the convention. The Republican Party has said it will be the largest gathering of media types in the world outside the Summer Olympics, which will be held this August in Brazil. Good luck finding quality pierogi in Rio de Janeiro.
The size, in square feet, of the video screen that’s being erected in Quicken Loans Arena behind the main stage where Trump and others will give their speeches. GOP officials say the 636 panels of “intelligent modules” used to construct the screen provide the highest resolution possible.
The number of delegates who will be seated for the convention. Of that total, Trump needs 1,237 to pledge their support to win the nomination. Rumors of a mutiny by anti-Trump delegates have been swirling for weeks, but there’s no evidence that Trump won’t win the nomination on the first ballot.
The number of motorcoaches secured to ferry delegates from their hotels to Quicken Loans Arena. Some delegates will have longer commutes than others. The 172 members of the California delegation, the GOP’s largest, will be staying at an African-themed indoor water park in Sandusky, 60 miles west of downtown Cleveland. No word yet on the number of mini umbrella drinks to be ordered after a hard day of conventioneering.
Sets of riot gear Cleveland has purchased for police officers to use during the convention. There are continuing concerns about protests turning violent, but Cleveland police officials have said officers working security downtown won’t change into riot gear unless a situation calls for it.