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GOP panel recommends Milwaukee as host city for 2024 Republican National Convention

Full Republican National Committee to vote in August
Posted at 4:15 PM, Jul 15, 2022
and last updated 2023-02-07 13:19:11-05

MILWAUKEE — The GOP Site Selection Committee voted to recommend Milwaukee as the host city for the 2024 Republican National Convention (RNC) on Friday.

A final decision will be made by the full Republican National Committee during its summer meeting Aug. 2-5 in Chicago.

In a statement Friday, Senior Advisor Richard Walters said, "Today, the Site Selection Committee voted to recommend Milwaukee to host the 2024 Republican National Convention and it is a testament to the forthright and professional behavior embraced by Milwaukee’s city leaders throughout the process. A final decision will be made by Chairwoman McDaniel and the full RNC in the coming weeks.” 

WATCH: Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson addressed the news during a press conference Friday evening.

Mayor Johnson adresses GOP's recommendation to have Milwaukee host 2024 RNC

“In just four years’ time, two of the largest and most visible global events have put Milwaukee on the top of their list,” says VISIT Milwaukee President & CEO Peggy Williams-Smith. “It is no surprise the RNC chose Milwaukee. Our city offers world-class amenities alongside top-tier venues and unmatched hospitality, making us well equipped to welcome tens of thousands of visitors.”

Nashville is the other finalist to host the RNC. However, the Nashville Metro Council pulled a bill to bring the RNC to the city. Some on the council say the city doesn't need the tourism boost and doesn't want the added risk of violence.

The Milwaukee Common Council passed the framework agreement for the convention 13-0 on June 1st. The plan is used as a way to lay out what thousands of convention goers can expect in terms of services and resources if the RNC were to take place in the Brew City.

The includes a provision that there will be good faith efforts to discuss future compensation to the city at the conclusion of the RNC. Several council members had previously pushed for a resolution requiring the Republican National Committee to pay the city $6 million dollars, but that was dropped.

GOP panel recommends Milwaukee as host city for RNC

The RNC is estimated to have an economic impact of about $200 million and bring 45,000 people to Milwaukee. VISIT Milwaukee expects an additional 15,000 credentialed media to cover the event.

The financial impact on the city is a top issue for those who talked about the agreement.

"I want them [Republicans] to spend all their money and put the eyes of the world on Milwaukee," said Mayor Cavalier Johnson. "This is about a business position. And the benefits of the future for Milwaukee to attract other large-scale events."

Milwaukee was chosen by Democrats to host the 2020 DNC, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that meeting was nearly entirely virtual.


WATCH: Former Gov. Scott Walker reacted to the news during an interview with TMJ4 News on Friday.

Scott Walker responds after GOP panel picks Milwaukee to host RNC

Walker also tweeted:

Rebecca Kleefisch, who is on the ballot in the Republican primary for Wisconsin governor, reacted to the news on FacebookFriday.

"Democrats abandoned Milwaukee in 2020, and when we get to showcase Wisconsin to the nation in 2024, a Republican governor will be there to greet them," Kleefisch said. "The GOP was born here in Wisconsin, and we’re ready to celebrate our legacy of freedom and put a Republican back in the White House."

Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) president Tim Sheehy responded Friday. He said in part, "This represents yet another remarkable opportunity for the Milwaukee Region, our businesses and our community. The direct economic impact of hosting this convention will be a vital jump start for Milwaukee businesses and their employees, after being hit so hard by the pandemic and ensuing supply chain, labor shortage and inflation issues. And there may be even greater value in the opportunity for Milwaukee to once again shine in an international spotlight. Remember that every large-scale event we execute successfully helps us make the case for hosting even more big events in the future. And there are few events larger in scale, visibility and impact than a national political convention."

Republican Party of Wisconsin Chairman Paul Farrow previously said in a statement that the convention in Milwaukee will bring hundreds of millions of dollars to the state. Visit Milwaukee CEO Peggy Williams Smith agrees it would be beneficial.

“Imagine all of those people here being able to showcase all the good there is in Milwaukee and highlighting some of the things that we need to improve. It's just an opportunity that we missed in 2020 that I’d love to bring back to our community in 2024," said Williams-Smith.

Fiserv Forum President Peter Feigin released this statement Friday: "“As the Republican National Convention is expected to be held in Milwaukee, Fiserv Forum will significantly elevate its profile as a world-class major-event venue. In addition to creating a substantial economic impact for Milwaukee, the Convention will further demonstrate that our city and arena can successfully host enormous events en route to attracting other prominent events in the future.”

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