Philadelphia has been selected as one of the three finalists in the heated contest to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced Monday that Columbus, New York and Philadelphia made the second to final cut. The announcement comes three months after the Democratic National Committee's technical advisory team visited the three cities plus Phoenix and Birmingham, Ala, which did not make it into the finalist round.

"We're thrilled to move to the next step of the selection process to determine where Democrats will come together to nominate the 45th President of the United States," Schultz said in a statement. "We are fortunate to have such a diverse and vibrant group of cities interested in hosting this special event."

The winner is expected to be announced early next year. The committee is also figuring out the exact date Potential weeks for the 2016 convention are the weeks of July 18, July 25, and Aug. 22.

"Today, we are in the red zone. But like any Eagles fan knows there is a difference between being in the red zone and putting points on the board," said Philadelphia Democratic party boss U.S. Congressman Bob Brady, who has been leading the local DNC campaign. "I am proud of the effort our team put in, but now is not the time to spike the ball but to redouble our efforts and get the job done."

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