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2016 GOP Convention. Photo via AP.


Republican National Convention to restrict attendance as Florida coronavirus cases surge

Delegates will feel the heat in August.

The Republican National Convention is headed to Jacksonville still, but the event will be held largely outdoors and with capacity caps, according to a memo from the Host Committee.

“We plan to utilize a number of indoor and outdoor venues in this multi-block radius of Jacksonville, including the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, TIAA Bank Field, Daily’s Place Amphitheater, 121 Financial Ballpark, and several others.”

As well, expect that for much of the event, crowd size will be limited.

“Admittance to the convention venue for the first three days of the convention celebration in Jacksonville (August 24, 25, 26) will be limited to regular delegates only. For the final day (Thursday, August 27) when President Trump will publicly accept the nomination, we plan that each delegate, their guest, and alternate delegates will be permitted to attend.”

The scheduling, at least what is being given to media, is being kept loose.

“We continue to plan to host programming each day leading up to President Donald Trump’s speech accepting the nomination on Thursday, August 27th. We expect there to be evening programming each night, along with some daytime events and festivities.”

The comments follow VP Mike Pence saying that events should be outside.

“There’s consideration being given to having the convention in an outdoor setting and also putting the kind of measures in place that put the health of all of those participating, our delegates, visitors and anyone else that’s present — we’ll put the health of everyone participating first,” Pence told reporters on a campaign press call Wednesday afternoon.

Those comments come after somewhat tepid endorsements of the Jacksonville event from both Gov. Ron DeSantis and President Donald Trump.

The Governor noted that he’s good with outdoor events, but clearly distanced himself from the planning as much as possible in comments last week in Jacksonville.

“I think the outside would be a very good option,” DeSantis added. “There’s never been ‘we’re going to do this, we’re going to do that’. I know there’s been speculation, but there’s never been any plan submitted to me saying this is what we’re going to do.”

“There’s a lot going on,” DeSantis added, noting that he’s “not involved … it’s more the city and the RNC than me.”

The President likewise was less than emphatic Monday.

“Well, we’re going to see,” he said about the Jacksonville event, noting that the city’s positive test rate “built up a little bit.”

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at

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