CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 19: Campaign souvenirs seen on the second day of the Republican National Convention on July 19, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicked off on July 18. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Photo: Chip Somodevilla
Photo: Chip Somodevilla

Capitalism is alive and well on the streets of Cleveland

As thousands of people flood the streets here for the Republican National Convention, a wave of spending is expected along with them.

As the republican party prepares to nominate Donald Trump as their presidential candidate, thousands of people are descending on to Cleveland to participate — estimates show 50,000 people are officially registered with the RNC either as media, delegates or staff. In a city with an estimated population of 390,000 people, the presence of the visitors is hard to miss.

The massive number does not even account for so-called “political tourists,” people who travel to major political conventions and events who are not formally registered with the RNC.


Using the 2012 RNC convention in Tampa as a point of comparison, Cleveland tourism group Destination Cleveland told Rare that they estimate that $200-$250 million will be spent in the city by people in town for the convention.

The main sources of revenue are expected to be hotel rooms booked, money spent on food and transportation, as well as sales of merchandise associated with the RNC — hats, shirts, stuffed animals and even political prophylactics.

“With this election, you can’t help but laugh,” Eric Yesbick, who came into town to sell Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders condoms — one for 5 dollars or three for 10 dollars. Yesbick, who will also take to selling his merchandise at next week’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, said he anticipates selling out in one day.