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Nearly half of delegates for the 2020 DNC will be staying at hotels in Illinois

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MILWAUKEE -- A hotel list provided to FOX6 News shows nearly half of the delegations for the 2020 Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Milwaukee are going to be staying across the state line. They will be bussed in daily from Illinois.

The 2020 DNC is projected to bring $200 million in economic activity to Milwaukee and the surrounding area.

"We're benefiting. We're just not going to see the delegates," said Dave Blank, President and CEO of Real Racine.

This is still the case, despite a new list that shows nearly half of the delegations will be staying in northern Illinois hotels in areas like Lake County and Rosemont.

CLICK HERE to view the list of delegations and their hotel locations

Thirty-one delegations will stay in Wisconsin, and 26 will stay in Illinois.

Dave Blank

"I'm not disappointed. This is what we have to work with," Blank said.

Blank said some delegations are heading to Illinois because hotels farther out of Milwaukee did not meet the required criteria, including full food and bar service at late hours.

"We only have two such hotels in Racine County," Blank said.

Other planning officials say larger delegations like California and Ohio want to be in the same hotel. That is another reason why hotels near O'Hare International Airport were a better fit.

However, the Milwaukee region is still booking rooms for thousands of other visitors who will be paying market prices instead of the price cap in place for delegates.

"For those hotels that didn't fill with delegates, they are going to fill with visitors guests and media that are paying two to three times the room rate that a delegate would be paying," said Tim Sheehy, President of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC).

Tim Sheehy

Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairman Ben Wikler said northern Illinois was part of the pitch to bring the convention to Milwaukee.

"The number of people coming to the convention is upwards of 50,000 ," Wikler said.

Wikler said the delegations make up a small percentage of that number.

"Hotels rooms in Madison, Kenosha and Racine, Fond du Lac and Sheboygan -- they will be jammed full of people," Wikler said.

Another reason why planning officials say Wisconsin businesses will benefit the most is because delegates and other visitors will be at the convention for most of the day, spending their dollars in Milwaukee at area restaurants and other events.

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