The Republican National Committee has voted, confirming that Milwaukee will host its convention in 2024, potentially attracting as many as 45,000 attendees to the Wisconsin city.
Milwaukee officials welcome the opportunity to host the Republican National Convention, as it will provide a major boost to its hard-hit travel and tourism economy, which employs more than 50,000 people. A diverse coalition of local businesses, officials and neighbors collaborated on the bid to attract the prized event.
The city is now the first destination since 1972 to win bids to host back-to-back Democratic and Republican national conventions. The 2020 Democratic National Convention took place in Milwaukee as well, although because of the pandemic, that meeting was held with a significantly downsized in-person component, with much of the program being presented remotely. Although the event won accolades for the innovation and production of its hybrid approach, the convention didn't represent the windfall for the city's meeting industry it would have in typical years.
"In just four years' time, two of the largest and most visible global events have put Milwaukee on the top of their list," said Visit Milwaukee president and 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."
The fact that the city has attracted interest from both major parties speaks to the political diversity of Milwaukee, noted Williams-Smith, who added that there is bipartisan support from both the local and state governments to host the event. "At Visit Milwaukee, we promote tourism to generate economic growth that ultimately creates a better, stronger Milwaukee," added Williams-Smith. "It’s our job to pursue conventions that don't just bring us hard dollars, but those that will bring prestige and exposure that will ultimately enhance our reputation as an amazing place to visit, work and live."
Past hosts of the DNC or RNC have reported as much as $200 million in estimated economic impact, according to Visit Milwaukee, along with increases in convention bookings, new development and infrastructure investment, as well as high-profile media exposure.
"Having the newly expanded Wisconsin Center featured on the world’s stage during the 2024 RNC is an opportunity which cannot be underestimated," added Wisconsin Center District president and CEO Marty Brooks.