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Thu January 10, 2013
Convention Center Banks $750,000 From Romney Election Night Party
The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority had a better election night than Mitt Romney, banking $750,000 in profits from the Republican presidential hopeful's Nov. 6 party at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.
The $1.2 million in gross revenue from Romney's event and the $750,000 profit was an unanticipated bump to the authority's budget, helping to put the MCCA $3.5 million above projections, according to MCCA chief strategy officer Johanna Storella, who briefed the MCCA board on the budget on Thursday.
"It only came together two to three weeks before it actually was held," MCCA Executive Director Jim Rooney told the News Service. "It was obviously a political event so it is a rack-rate, arms-length, no discounts event. So they paid full price for everything, and they paid."
Some of the MCCA's revenue came from the many news trucks that required connections and paid MCCA directly for those connections, Rooney said.
"From an execution standpoint, it was flawless," Rooney said. He said, "The event went well. It was high-end in terms of the things that they did and wanted. You just saw the stage on TV. It was international exposure for us."
The night was a disappointment for Romney. Many of his supporters lined up for shuttle buses back to their hotels before Romney gave a brief concession speech, the News Service observed.
Romney's campaign raised some eyebrows for charging fees to the press covering the event, which according to The Republican of Springfield ranged from $75 for a seat to $1,050 for access to the media filing center, which included catered food. After the campaign, several news organizations with reporters traveling with Romney balked at the bill for meals and transportation, which included massage tables, fresh-cut flowers, food and drinks for a vice presidential viewing party for the media at a cost of $745 per reporter, according to Buzzfeed.com.
Late on election night, after President Obama was projected as the election's winner, a News Service reporter passed through Romney campaign security and was not checked for credentials or proof of payment. The roughly 40,000 square foot ballroom where the main event was held was inaccessible, but several areas of the convention hall, including the filing centers, were accessible without credentials.
Rooney said press management was the purview of Romney's campaign and the Republican National Committee.
BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO
BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO