Milwaukee 2020 DNC Convention Committee
Press Release

Milwaukee Named Host City for 2020 Democratic National Convention

Convention will generate $200 million in economic impact; shine global spotlight on city

By - Mar 11th, 2019 11:08 am
The Fiserv forum during the Milwaukee Bucks annual party block party. Photo by Jack Fennimore.

The Fiserv forum during the Milwaukee Bucks annual party block party. Photo by Jack Fennimore.

MILWAUKEE–The Democratic National Committee (DNC) announced today that Milwaukee has been selected as the host city for the 2020 Democratic National Convention, slated for July 13-16, 2020.

“This is a great day for the city of Milwaukee and for the state of Wisconsin,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said. “Milwaukee is a first-class city, and we are ready to showcase Milwaukee on one of the largest stages in the world.”

The selection represents the first return to the Midwest for the DNC Convention since Chicago in 1996; it’s the first-ever major national party convention ever for Wisconsin.

“There is no better place to showcase the Democratic Party’s vision for the future than in Wisconsin,” U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin said. “The Midwest is a critical battleground and will be key to securing a better future for America.”

Milwaukee will take center stage in mid-July 2020, showcasing everything the city and the state of Wisconsin have to offer.

“The convention represents a tremendous opportunity for Milwaukee and Wisconsin to be on the world stage,” Governor Tony Evers said. “This is the chance to show the world what Wisconsin truly is: a great place to live, work, and visit.”

The convention is expected to draw more than 50,000 visitors and will have an estimated $200 million impact on the region.

“The DNC Convention presents a tremendous opportunity to build on Milwaukee’s rich history of diversity, inclusion, and innovation,” Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes said. “Our local entrepreneurs and strong neighborhoods are among Milwaukee’s greatest strengths, and a successful convention that includes these diverse partners will help communities throughout southeast Wisconsin thrive.”

There will be an estimated 1,500 events that will occur outside of the Fiserv Forum, presenting a multitude of opportunities for businesses and organizations throughout the Milwaukee area to benefit from the convention.

“This will be a huge economic opportunity for everyone in and around Milwaukee,” Congresswoman Gwen Moore said. “We need businesses big and small, from all over the city and around the region to play an important part in making this event successful. We are committed to making sure that everyone who wants to be involved gets the opportunity to be part of this effort.”

The preparations for the convention have already begun in earnest with the City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, and the State of Wisconsin preparing to work with federal agencies to ensure the safety and security of all who attend the convention. Milwaukee’s corporate community, nonprofits, and small businesses will all be involved; and thousands of volunteers will be needed to help ensure the convention runs smoothly.

“Milwaukee will be ready to host a tremendous experience for all of our visitors and residents,”  Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele said. “We will feature Milwaukee as a place that respects and values all people, a core belief of the Democratic Party – it’s an event I’ll be thrilled for us to host.”

The Co-Chairs of the Milwaukee DNC 2020 Host Committee will be Mayor Tom Barrett, Senator Tammy Baldwin, Governor Tony Evers, Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes, Congresswoman Gwen Moore, and County Executive Chris Abele.

Stay tuned for information by following the host committee on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and by sharing on social media using #Milwaukee2020.

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11 thoughts on “Eyes on Milwaukee: City Bidding for Democratic National Convention”

  1. Terry says:

    What should they pitch? Um, how about what a whole lot of us said in 2016 “Maybe if you actually show up in the state and you know, campaign here (unlike Hillary) the state won’t be conned and suckered and vote for Trump?!” Novel idea Democrats! BTW, Wasserman Schultz screwing Bern dog out of the nomination was a disaster for the country and now the entire world. Thanks Debbie!

  2. WashCoRepub says:

    If Milwaukee lands it, I’d recommend the vendors insist on up-front payments for major items. Most reports I see say the DNC is essentially broke.

  3. Troll says:

    If Milwaukee is truly open for business they would compete for both parties

  4. Terry says:

    @Russian Troll, We agree! Walker’s Wississippi is closed for business! Imagine that!? A Career Politician since he was 22 years old, who has never worked a single day in his adult life in the private sector or “free market” can’t figure out how to run an ACTUAL economy!

    Dump Trump
    Dump Walker
    Free Wisconsin!!

  5. Mike says:

    I just hope this doesn’t result in us putting more public money into convention space. I’d love if we sold that surface lot on Kilbourne that they want to expand on to, and let that get developed into something that’s actually active 24/7, instead of expanding an already monolithic building. If they did that, plus redevelop the current Bradley center lot, and come up with a way to make the McArthur square actually connect to the street grid, westown could be pretty vibrant.

  6. PMD says:

    The MMAC and Tim Sheehy, who supports Walker, is behind this. Ask him why they aren’t going after RNC.

  7. GRNPAKWH says:

    Hidden in this article is the expansion of the convention center.This underused building cannot even find a sponsor. Marc Lasry loved to spend our tax dollars for his benefit. I’ll drive to Chicago for the convention.

  8. max says:

    Anyone know what the GOP is planning for their convention, Moscow? St Petersburg, formerly Leningrad, formerly Petrograd, formerly a swamp connected to the Baltic? Or maybe Volgograd, formerly Stanlingrad?

  9. MidnightSon says:

    Appreciating the thoughtful comments here, despite the inevitable trolls.

    Yeah, I hear what some say about convention center expansion being a part of this move. Instead, I think this is more about getting a naming sponsor for the new Bucks arena. There was an article just yesterday in the Milwaukee Business Journal that speculated that it is getting a little late in the game for the Bucks not to have found a naming sponsor. (Ha! Someone was quoted as saying that not having a sponsor sewn up by now was “atypical,” but “not unusual.” Talk about mincing words!) This could simply be about hoping for it, and at least continuing to get Milwaukee’s name out there. I mean, you’re either on the list, or you aren’t.

    I think Milwaukee has a much better chance of landing this that of landing Amazon’s HQ2. We don’t have the hotel rooms, convention space or infrastructure of some cities. But, we have some and, to its credit, Milwaukee sure does know how to throw a party!

  10. Mike says:

    @midnightson, that’s an interesting observation.
    hopefully true.

    Re: convention center. I don’t see any outcome with an expanded convention center that improves quality of place for MKE residents. On the otherhand, there is an awful lot we could do with those dollars across the city/county still in the scope of the mandate to improve tourism. Eg. We’ve got so many festivals that are doing so much on boot strap budgets, that with 100k here and there we could add pretty major touring acts every weekend through the summer to them. Plus bring in the biggest art exhibits to MAM, etc. Plus test out tons of fun ideas: an annual domestic olympics, pond hockey championships on lake michigan, water skiing or sail events, etc. Etc.

    With the 15 million or so we would need to dump into the convention center each year to service those bonds, we could try out a lot of ideas for 5-10 years, and if it doesn’t work, then do the lame convention center expansion.

  11. Virginia says:

    A push to eventually land a major political convention could benefit Milwaukee if it includes significant efforts to revitalize Downtown’s public spaces, whixh Cleveland did…

    “The other was the way in which visitors and police were able to use [Cleveland’s] streetscapes, parks and other civic infrastructure that has taken decades to build, and without which the convention would have been inconceivable.”

    In any case, improving Milwaukee’s public realm will pay off beyond one big week.

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