Hosting the 2012 Democratic National Convention would cost Charlotte organizers more than $40 million for everything from arena renovations to media pavilions to delegate gifts.
But organizers of the last two conventions said they did it all with no local or state tax money.
"It all gelled," said Mike Dino, CEO of the 2008 Denver Convention Host Committee. "We worked hard, but we got lucky too."
A day after Charlotte was named one of four finalists for 2012 - along with Minneapolis, Cleveland and St. Louis - city officials were optimistic about landing the gathering.
And some pundits liked the city's chances.
Politico's Mike Allen wrote, "Playbook predicts: Charlotte! (With St. Louis as backup.)"
University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato tweeted that "Politically, 3 of DNC choices for '12 convo make sense, in this order: Charlotte, St. Louis, Cleveland."
Don Fowler, a former Democratic national chairman from Columbia, said, "It just seems to me that Charlotte and Minneapolis have a pretty edge on the other two."
The Democratic National Committee isn't expected to name a winner until the end of the year after officials visit each of the four cities. Neither Charlotte nor the DNC would disclose details of the city's bid Thursday.
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