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De Blasio: Democratic National Convention in Brooklyn would mean 'a lot of money flowing'

Mayor Bill de Blasio on June 12, 2014.

Mayor Bill de Blasio on June 12, 2014. Credit: Getty Images / Stephen Lovekin

The disruption to everyday commuters and residents during the summer of 2016 would be "limited and brief" if Brooklyn wins its bid to host the Democratic National Convention, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.

The event would bring more than 30,000 attendees to the city, many of whom would stay in Manhattan hotels and travel to Brooklyn's Barclays Center -- the proposed convention hall -- via specially dedicated traffic lanes, shuttles and ferries, city officials have said.

De Blasio said the presidential nominating convention would likely take place in July or August, when more residents are on vacation, and the major events would likely occur over four nights.

"We all know there will be some congestion. We all know there will be some challenges," he said at a news conference outside Barclays. "But there's going to be a lot of money flowing, and I think the vast majority of small-business owners will appreciate that fact."

Park Slope resident Nelsena Spano, who was at Barclays on Monday when other officials held an event in support of the bid, said it would be a mistake to hold the convention in her borough. "There's going to be major traffic jams," she said.

De Blasio said the convention cost to taxpayers would be about $10 million, with about $100 million privately raised. Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen said on Monday the city can expect hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity.

De Blasio accompanied a team of DNC scouts on their second and last day of touring New York City and reviewing fundraising, transportation, lodging and other logistical aspects of the bid.

They traveled to Barclays Tuesday morning from midtown Manhattan's Rockefeller Center by subway, taking a special B train that sped directly to the arena without other station stops. De Blasio said the ride took 25 minutes. An MTA spokesman said standard routes were changed to accommodate the DNC train, but there were no delays to service.

The ease of travel between boroughs for delegates, members of the media and other convention attendees who would descend on the city has been one major test for the administration.

DNC chief executive Amy Dacey said it was "premature" to assess Brooklyn's chances of winning the bid.

The DNC's schedule Tuesday also included a luncheon at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and a barbecue dinner at Gracie Mansion.

In scouting convention sites, the DNC has visited Birmingham, Alabama, and Columbus, Ohio. It will next tour Philadelphia and Phoenix.

With Dan Rivoli

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