The Republican National Committee will have its 2012 convention in Florida's Tampa Bay Area.

"The Tampa area boasts state-of-the-art facilities, exciting and vibrant downtowns, and a clear enthusiasm from the community to host our convention," RNC Chairman Michael Steele said in a statement.

"We are very excited to accept Tampa's bid for the 2012 Republican National Convention," Holly Hughes, chair of the site selection committee, said Wednesday. "We are looking forward to a successful convention in Florida."

The RNC’s site selection committee also reviewed bids from Phoenix and Salt Lake City.

Selecting Phoenix could have been a political liability after Arizona passed its new anti-illegal immigration statute. And Utah is solidly Republican. In 2008, the RNC held its convention in Minneapolis.

The Arizona Republican Party denied the state's new immigration law had anything to do with Phoenix getting passed over.

"While many will point to Arizona's new immigration law as one of the reasons that Phoenix was not chosen, nothing could be further from the truth," Arizona GOP chairman Randy Pullen said in a statement. "Members of the RNC overwhelmingly support the immigration bill signed into law by Governor Brewer, and Republicans from coast-to-coast stand with Arizonans as we fight to secure our border."

Updated at 4:51 p.m.