MILWAUKEE – VISIT Milwaukee said Wednesday it is hosting a Republican National Convention committee in the city as they consider Milwaukee hosting the 2024 convention.
From hotels, bars and restaurants to larger venues like the Fiserv Forum and beyond, VISIT Milwaukee will sell the city’s value. And while their political strategies differ, both mayoral candidates said they were excited about the opportunity to host.
“I want the eyes of the world to be on our city,” Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson said.
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At a campaign press conference Wednesday night, Johnson said he was thrilled with Milwaukee‘s opportunity to show off to convention organizations.
“It’s not about red. It’s not about blue. It’s about green — and using those dollars as an infusion of resources into the pockets of our workers here in the city of Milwaukee” , Johnson said of the potential financial benefits of the convention. “I want to see that.”
VISIT Milwaukee hosted the hosting bid, estimating the convention could generate just under $200 million in revenue.
Milwaukee had hoped to collect a similar return from the 2020 Democratic National Convention, but it was cut amid the COVID-19 pandemic — cutting the profit to $3 million.
“I was so happy when the Democratic Party picked Milwaukee for the convention, and then of course everything went well down south obviously with COVID,” said mayoral candidate Bob Donovan.
Donovan also shared his excitement that business owners might have another chance to benefit from what a convention can offer.
“Hopefully we can bring the Republican National Convention here. I think it would be a huge boom for Milwaukee,” Donovan said.
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In a statement, VISIT Milwaukee CEO Peggy Williams-Smith also touted the financial potential of hosting: “We are so proud that Milwaukee is one of the finalists for RNC 2024. We can’t wait to show organizers of RNC events everything the community has to do. to offer.”
A few weeks ago, a delegation from Milwaukee went to the Republican National Committee to present the city. The committee is also considering Nashville and Salt Lake City; Pittsburgh had already been named fourth runner-up.