The Republican National Committee’s Site Selection Committee announced on Friday it has chosen Milwaukee to host its national convention in 2024, four years after a pandemic-hobbled Democratic National Convention here.
The GOP’s decision isn’t final yet – the RNC has to vote to approve the site selection committee’s choice at its upcoming meeting, Aug. 2-5.
“It is no surprise the RNC chose Milwaukee,” said VISIT Milwaukee’s President and CEO Peggy Williams-Smith in a press release. “Our city offers world-class amenities alongside top-tier venues and unmatched hospitality, making us well equipped to welcome tens of thousands of visitors.”
The other frontrunner for the convention was Nashville, until early July when the city’s draft agreement to host the convention was pulled before the Common Council could vote on it. Milwaukee’s Common Council approved the city’s host agreement unanimously on June 1.
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The event will be held in July or August, with the final dates not yet chosen. The Wisconsin Center and Fiserv Forum would be Milwaukee’s two primary locations for the convention.
The effort to bring the convention was led largely by Williams-Smith; Gerard Randall, the vice chairman of Wisconsin’s Republican Party; and Reince Priebus, former head of the state Republican Party and a White House chief of staff under President Donald Trump. Mayor Cavalier Johnson, a Democrat, has been a vocal proponent as well.
The announcement marks the second presidential election cycle in a row that Milwaukee was tapped to host a nominating convention. The Democratic National Committee chose the city for its 2020 convention, though that event ended up being nearly entirely virtual, with Milwaukee missing out on the flood of delegates, media and dignitaries it had prepared for.
Visit Milwaukee expects the convention to bring 45,000 attendees. The group also points to other cities which have hosted conventions and reported up to $200 million in estimated economic impact, especially in the travel and tourism industry.
“In Milwaukee, there’s something for everyone,” Williams-Smith said. “The City of Milwaukee is culturally, racially, ethnically, and politically diverse. That is one of the many reasons why Milwaukee has become a desirable destination for group, business, and leisure travel.”