MILWAUKEE (AP) — The City of Milwaukee has submitted its bid to host the Republican National Convention in 2024.
A packet highlighting why Brew City is a good place to hold a political convention was sent to the Republican National Committee last week. The application, which includes more than 200 pages, highlights the city’s access to Lake Michigan, entertainment venues, festivals, the culinary scene, the Milwaukee Bucks’ championship, the Wisconsin Center expansion, Fiserv Forum and more.
Visit Milwaukee is taking the lead on the bid and said the city is bidding for both major party 2024 conventions. Milwaukee was awarded and hosted a scaled down version of the 2020 Democratic National Convention due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The event became mostly virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We got asked to the dance but we didn’t get asked to dance at the dance because it didn’t happen,” Visit Milwaukee CEO Peggy Williams-Smith says of the 2020 effort.
Williams-Smith said submitting the bid for 2024 was made easier by past experience.
“Obviously we had done a lot of the groundwork when we did the bid for the DNC back in 2018,” said Williams-Smith.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett was part of the group that traveled to Washington, D.C. to present the bid.
“We’re a swing state and everybody is going to be coming here," Barrett said. "I’d love to see us run the table and get the Republican and Democratic convention in 2024.”
Securing funding is a major part of being awarded the DNC. Williams-Smith says a plan is in place to recruit major donors. Matt Rothschild of Wisconsin Democracy Campaign says there are many donors from both Wisconsin and beyond that would likely contribute.
“I would look at Diane Hendricks of ABC Supply, I would look at Ted Kellner in Milwaukee. I would look at Dick and Liz Uihlein of Uline Corporation. Those are some of the biggest ones” says Rothschild.
Visit Milwaukee expects to hear from the RNC in early 2022. If they are a finalist, Republican representatives would visit the city. Las Vegas, Nashville, and Salt Lake are some of the other cities vying for the RNC. Milwaukee is expected to put in a formal bid for the Democratic National Convention in the first quarter of 2022 as well.