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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Jul. 16, 202010:40 AM EST

RNC will scale back attendance in Jacksonville

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The Jacksonville 2020 Host Committee says only regular delegates will be allowed to attend RNC events Aug. 24-27. 
by: Mike Mendenhall Staff Writer

The Jacksonville 2020 Host Committee said July 16 that attendance for the Aug. 24-27 Republican National Convention in Jacksonville will be scaled back.

Host committee Communications Director Erin Isaac said for the first three days, convention attendance will be limited to regular delegates.

For President Donald Trump’s nomination acceptance speech Aug. 27, attendance will be limited to delegates, their guests and alternate delegates.

The national Republican Party has 2,472 delegates, according to party rules.

The memo said that the RNC will use indoor and outdoor venues, including VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, TIAA Bank Field, Daily’s Place Amphitheater, 121 Financial Ballpark and several others.

The memo says the plan for health protocols “includes but is not limited to on-site temperature checks, available PPE, aggressive sanitizing protocols, and available COVID-19 testing.”

Duval GOP Executive Director Andrew Johnson said July 16 he does not think attendance reduced further from the approximately 2,500 delegates party officials expect to attend the convention in Jacksonville.

“I would not expect them to reduce the number of delegates,” Johnson said. “Everything is being done with purpose and there’s science behind it.” 

Mayor Lenny Curry’s Chief of Staff Jordan Elsbury told the Daily Record on July 10 that RNC organizers were considering a move outdoors and all city-owned facilities in the Downtown Sports and Entertainment District have been under consideration.

Jacksonville city officials said last week that party leaders have been considering the decision for outdoor venues as cases of COVID-19 remain near record highs since the onset of the pandemic in March.

 Before the July 16 announcement, the RNC said it expected 15,000 or more people to attend events at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. 

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