WASHINGTON - Democrats are planning to visit six cities this summer that are in the running to hold the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

The site visits will help the Democratic National Committee decide how each city might accommodate the tens of thousands of party leaders and activists who will flock to the convention in two years.

The DNC says it will visit Birmingham, Alabama, on July 21-22; Cleveland on Aug. 4-5; Columbus, Ohio, on Aug. 6-7; New York on Aug. 11-12; Philadelphia on Aug. 13-14; and Phoenix on Sept. 10-11.

The group will be led by Amy Dacey, the DNC's chief executive officer.

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz is expected to announce the host city later this year or in early 2015.

Republicans have two finalists for its convention: Dallas and Cleveland.