The Democratic National Committee is in the process of making their second and final visits to the three cities still in the running to host the 2020 Democratic National Convention.
The committee returned to Milwaukee last week before heading to Miami and Houston.
The biggest difference between the two visits in Milwaukee, is last Monday, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee came to town, showing the stakes couldn’t be any higher. Milwaukee may be just a fraction of the size of its competitors in Miami and Houston, but mayor Tom Barrett doesn’t consider the city an underdog.
“I think they’re impressed by Milwaukee and maybe even a little surprised,” Barrett said.
The biggest surprise to those on the committee might just be a brand new $524 million arena in Fiserv Forum. It’s where thousands of delegates would spend most their time during the convention. Then there’s Milwaukee’s summer weather and its affordability.
“Especially for the delegates and I think the walkability of Milwaukee,” Milwaukee Bucks Senior VP Alex Lasry said. “You’ve got over 7,000 hotel rooms within a 15 minute walk of Fiserv Forum.”
Lasry believe Milwaukee wants this opportunity more than Houston and Miami.
“If we got it, this would be the event,” he said. “If you’re looking at Houston or Miami, those are convention cities, this will just be one of whatever else they have going on.”
A number of strengths also come with a few weaknesses. Milwaukee would be one of the smallest cities to ever host the DNC.
“I think that type of uncertainty is something that can scare people,” Lasry said.
Barrett believes being in the Midwest alone should be seen as a strength.
“Other than Chicago, which has sort of been the go-to spot in the Midwest for the Democrats, they have not held a national convention in the Midwest since they held one in St. Louis in 1916,” Barrett said. “It’s time, and we think we have a story to tell here.”
A decision on which finalist city will host the convention is expected sometime next month.