COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- LeBron James' return to the Cleveland Cavaliers could have an impact on Columbus.
The Republican National Convention has picked Cleveland as its preferred location for the 2016 convention. Quicken Loans Arena would be the main site for the event, which Republicans want to hold in June. The problem is the arena could be hosting the Cavaliers at the same time should they make the NBA Finals, a real possibility with James' return.
The Republicans have a backup date of July 18.
The conflict with sports may have cost Dallas the convention. American Airlines Center hosts both the Dallas Mavericks of the NBA and the NHL's Dallas Stars. Mavricks owner Marc Cuban told the Dallas Morning News that they wouldn't agree to move.
Cleveland might have to come up with another option should the Republicans insist on a June convention and the Cavs make the playoffs. That other option might include moving the Cavs to Columbus.
Nationwide Arena would be out of the mix. A source says the Columbus Blue Jackets also said no to moving should they be involved in the NHL Playoffs. That's likely what cost Columbus the RNC bid.
The Schottenstein Center is another option. It has plenty of space to host NBA games. An official with OSU was unaware of any conversations about using their facility in 2016 to host the Cavaliers.
"We will choose a date that allows us to put on the best convention possible. All options remain on the table as we're still very early on in the negotiation process," RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said. "We're excited about Cleveland, and LeBron's return is further evidence that it's a city on the rise."
The reason for the early convention date is that a candidate cannot begin raising money until they are nominated.
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