Big names book downtown Tampa's biggest venues for RNC

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Media outlets, big name corporations and Republican State Delegations have been touring some of Tampa Bay’s biggest venues looking for work and party space during the 2012 Republican National Convention, reports Carson Chambers.

We are learning about some of bookings that are in the works or done deals.

“They toured, I think, eight times was the total that we had,” said Tampa Museum of Art’s Executive Director Todd Smith.

Smith said he got the good news Monday from Google.  The convention official sponsor will be hosting a party for hundreds of people at their riverfront venue on the convention’s final night.  Smith says Tampa’s Museum of Art will also host events for Yahoo and the National Journal.

“To be able to showcase Tampa and its appreciation for the arts is really important.  Whether it’s in Tampa or anywhere else in the country, it is really quite vital,” said Smith.

Next door, a spokesperson for the Glazer Children’s Museum says three groups are interested in renting space, but wouldn’t elaborate who.

A representative for the Tampa Bay History Center says one national news media outlet wants to rent their entire building during the convention, which is right across the street from the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

The Tampa Bay Host Committee says it’s in discussions with the University of South Florida to hold convention events at the downtown CAMLS location. Governor Rick Scott will also host an event there.

At the Florida Aquarium they’ve had a number of tours, mostly anonymous.

“They’ll tell me they don’t know who their clients are yet — that they do events every year and they put out proposals to the direct client,” said Aquarium spokesperson Jason Carroll.

Carroll says the Michigan Delegation has shown interest, but no one has signed contracts. He expects to have final reservations by early June.

“We are in hold mode until we find out who they are,” he said.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.