RNC site selection committee recommends Milwaukee to host the 2024 Republican National Convention

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Last updated on July 19th, 2022 at 02:02 pm

A Republican National Committee site selection committee today recommended Milwaukee to be the host city for the 2024 Republican National Convention, according to reports. A major step, but not the final one, towards Milwaukee hosting the convention.

The news was first reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Matt Smith, a reporter for WISN-TV Channel 12, a media partner of BizTimes Milwaukee, later reported the news on Twitter, adding “RNC members must still approve during its August meeting in Chicago.”

“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,” said RNC Senior Advisor Richard Walters in a statement to WISN 12 News. See more from WISN-TV Channel 12’s full report.

Milwaukee and Nashville are the two finalists to host the 2024 RNC. On June 1, the Milwaukee Common Council approved an agreement for the city to host the convention. Earlier this month, in the face of opposition, two Metro Nashville Council members withdrew their bill to approve a draft agreement between the RNC and Nashville for the 2024 convention. That move left Nashville’s bid in doubt, but supporters of holding the event there have been trying to get the Nashville council to reconsider.

“RNC officials… say Nashville is not completely out of the mix. The city, though, would need to approve its agreement,” Smith reported today on Twitter.

News Channel 5 in Nashville today reported that a Metro Nashville Council vote on whether to agree on the RNC coming to Nashville in 2024 was being pushed back until August. A Nashville councilman said he would refile the bill for the council’s Aug. 2 meeting.

The 2024 RNC would bring between 45,000 and 50,000 visitors to Milwaukee and a significant amount of media exposure to the city, supporters of the city hosting the convention say.

“We’re proud of today’s significant step forward toward welcoming the Republican National Convention to Milwaukee in 2024,” said Tim Sheehy, president of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce. “While this decision still must be ratified by party officials, we thank the RNC’s Site Selection Committee for voting to recommend Milwaukee as the best choice to move forward with for this event.

“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.

“We would not have made it to this point without hard work and strong bipartisan support. We thank everyone, from both sides of the political aisle and everywhere in between, for doing the work it took to get us here. We’re proud to support VISIT Milwaukee, Mayor Cavalier Johnson, County Executive David Crowley and so many others who led the effort to bring home what is shaping up as a big win for ‘Team Milwaukee.’

“For MMAC and our business community, our approach to this event is exactly the same as it was for pursuing the 2020 Democratic National Convention: It’s not about red or blue, but rather green – the color of dollars that will flow into Milwaukee when we secure this convention.”

Milwaukee was the host city of the 2020 DNC, but received almost no benefit from doing so because the event was held almost entirely virtually, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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.”

Other cities that have hosted either the DNC or the RNC reported significant gains, including up to $200 million in estimated economic impact, dramatic increases in convention bookings post-convention, the attraction of new development and infrastructure investment, and significant media exposure reaching travelers, business owners and meeting planners alike, VISIT Milwaukee said in a news release.

“In Milwaukee, there’s something for everyone,” Williams-Smith said. “The city of Milwaukee is culturally, racially, ethnically, and politically diverse. That is one of the many reasons why Milwaukee has become a desirable destination for group, business, and leisure travel.”

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Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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