Democrats in Denver ; Republicans in St. Paul

On August 25, the delegates of the Democratic Party will descend on Denver to nominate formally — finally! — its candidate for President of the United States. The Republicans will gather a week later in St. Paul, Minnesota. Both parties chose states that will be crucial battlegrounds in November — and that they narrowly lost four years ago. No matter the outcome on Election Day, the real winners come convention time will be the two cities, which will enjoy endless media coverage and upward of $150 million apiece in economic benefits. Here’s a primer on this year’s happy hosts.

Denver   St. Paul
554,636 POPULATION 280,404
11.7 million ANNUAL VISITORS 13.8 million*
5,280 feet ELEVATION 770 feet
The Mile-High City CIVIC NICKNAME The Saintly City
Qwest, Molson Coors, Quiznos COMPANY HEADQUARTERS Travelers, 3M, Ecolab, Securian Financial Group
The Daniel Libeskind — designed Frederic C. Hamilton building at the Denver Art Museum CULTURAL DRAW Minneapolis. Kidding! The historic Landmark Center is a St. Paul arts hub.
The largest urban park system in the nation boasts 205 parks within city limits. COMMUNE WITH NATURE St. Paul has more Mississippi River shoreline than any other city.
Karl Rove, Tim Allen FAVORITE SONS F. Scott Fitzgerald, Charles M. Schulz
Brews more beer than any other American city CLAIM TO FAME America’s biggest publisher of calendars and law books
The Pepsi Center, home to the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche CONVENTION VENUE The Xcel Energy Center, home to the Minnesota Wild (NHL) and the Minnesota Swarm of pro lacrosse
At the 1908 convention in Denver, William Jennings Bryan was chosen as the Democratic presidential candidate. He lost decisively to Republican William Howard Taft on Election Day. CONVENTION HISTORY None, but neighboring Minneapolis hosted the 1892 convention. Benjamin Harrison was nominated for reelection. He then lost to Democrat Grover Cleveland, the only President to win nonconsecutive terms.

*Figure is for Minneapolis — St. Paul.