RACINE -- Milwaukee will host the 2020 Democratic National Convention, party leaders announced Monday, March 11, highlighting the battleground state of Wisconsin that helped elect President Donald Trump and now will launch an opponent who could oust him. A hurdle when it comes to hosting a convention of this size is securing enough hotel rooms for the thousands of visitors expected to attend.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez chose Milwaukee over Houston and Miami after deliberations lingered longer than party leaders or officials from the three finalist cities had expected.
While Milwaukee's economy will benefit, so will surrounding cities.
"I said, 'Finally!'" said Dave Blank, president and CEO of Real Racine.
The convention is scheduled for July 13-16, 2020. Blank said Racine County offers a close proximity to Fiserv Forum and convenient access to Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee and O'Hare Airport in Chicago.
“Just about 1,500 rooms in Racine County," said Blank. “I’ve been waiting for this for a couple of weeks. We heard there was a good chance of it coming and we’ve been working with our hotels and VISIT Milwaukee to try and get ready for this.”
Meanwhile, in Waukesha County, Brookfield Mayor Steven Ponto said they will contribute to the approximately 15,000 hotel rooms needed for the convention.
“The City of Brookfield itself, by the time of the Democratic convention, will have 11 hotels. The Town of Brookfield has another six. Together we have 2,500 hotel rooms. We have 150 restaurants around Bluemound Road. We have shopping centers. There’s a lot to do in the evening," said Mayor Ponto.
Four hotels are scheduled to open well in advance of July's convention.
“That really makes us the largest concentration of hotel rooms outside Milwaukee," said Mayor Ponto.
The convention will offer an opportunity for visitors to check out the nightlife and activities available outside the Brew City.
“This is going to be different than anything else we’ve ever done before," said Blank.