Milwaukee to submit bid to host 2020 Democratic National Convention

Would be first ever national convention of either party to be held in Wisconsin

Mayor Tom Barrett, Congresswoman Gwen Moore and Tim Sheehy, MMAC president
Mayor Tom Barrett, U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee, and MMAC president Tim Sheehy.

The City of Milwaukee wants to host the Democratic National Convention in the summer of 2020, community officials and leaders announced at a press conference held at City Hall today.

Mayor Tom Barrett; Congresswoman Gwen Moore; Alex Lasry, vice president of the Milwaukee Bucks; and Tim Sheehy, president of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Association of Commerce, were among the speakers who voiced support for Milwaukee as the convention’s host city.

The convention, which would be held at the new Milwaukee Bucks arena, would have a $200 million economic impact and would attract about 50,000 visitors to the city, said Lasry.

Mayor Tom Barrett said the bid is a bipartisan effort to showcase Milwaukee’s recent economic growth and development, and to generate revenue for the city. See more from WISN-TV Channel 12, a media partner of BizTimes Milwaukee.

“What (Republicans and Democrats) have in common– for all of their ideological differences– is they spend money in the local community and that’s what many of us are interested in,” Barrett said. “The color we are looking at is green, to make sure that that money is spent in this community.”

Barrett said he would support both Republican and Democrat groups interested in bidding for a national convention. The city’s bid for the Democratic National Convention is backed bipartisan business leaders who want to promote the state and city economies, he said.

Tim Sheehy, president of the MMAC, serving as the bid’s financial sponsor, said supporting the bid is a civic responsibility.

“This is a democracy, we know in today’s day in age that it can be very tenuous and the Democratic National Convention is an important part of this country’s ability to celebrate this country’s democracy and I couldn’t think of a better place to do it than Milwaukee,” he said.

The state of Wisconsin has yet to host a national convention for either major party.

The DNC will make a request in spring for formal host city proposals and in late summer, it will make site visits to finalists’ cities. The host city will be announced sometime between the winter of 2018 and spring of 2019. The last DNC convention was held in Philadelphia in 2016 and reportedly made a $231 million economic impact on the city. The 2016 Republican National Convention was held in Cleveland, Ohio.

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Maredithe Meyer
Maredithe has covered retail, restaurants, entertainment and tourism since 2018. Her duties as associate editor include copy editing, page proofing and managing work flow. Meyer earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University and still enjoys attending men’s basketball games to cheer on the Golden Eagles. Also in her free time, Meyer coaches high school field hockey and loves trying out new restaurants in Milwaukee.

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