Houston chosen to host 3rd Democratic presidential debate

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Democratic National Committee has chosen Houston as the host city for the third Democratic presidential debate.

The candidates will meet on Sept. 12 and 13. ABC News will televise the debate.

Details on the format, venue, moderators and exact timing for the debates will be announced at a later date.

From the debate stage to the spin room, there is excitement that comes from being the host city, bringing much more than politics to the community.

There's also an energy, a spotlight and an opportunity for a city to shine, as Miami found out last month during the first Democratic debate.

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"You can't buy that publicity," said Alfred Sanchez, CEO of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.

Sanchez said debates may not bring throngs of visitors to a city and an injection of quick cash, but it brings a long lasting afterglow with the potential for sustained economic benefits.

"We used to be fun in the sun and now we're a serious place to do business, and coverage like this really focuses the national and international attention on that fact," Sanchez said. "Of course, getting a ticket to the debate is a tall order. So a lot of people went to watch parties. There were more than a dozen of them, and one of them was within earshot of the theater."

"It's bringing in the local community," said Craig Tooker, with Miami's Gabriel Hotel.

The Gabriel Hotel and its Cultura restaurant used the opportunity to host parties both nights.

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They advertised specials on drinks and high end appetizers intended to draw a crowd who could enjoy a party-like atmosphere while watching the debate.

"They can come here, have a great time with like-minded people," Tooker said. "They can sit down and have great food, great drinks."

With the debate coming to Houston, expect watch parties too, along with truckloads of national and international media who will cover the candidates, as well as their host city.

Follow Tom Abrahams on Facebook and Twitter.

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