MILWAUKEE -- At the Deer District -- this is supposed to be the main gathering place for the convention come August. But if it ends up being hosted online -- it could very well be as empty then as you're seeing it now.
Hundreds of millions of dollars are expected to pump into the local economy as a result of the Democratic National Convention coming to town.
If the format moves online, local officials believe the area won't see that kind of money flowing.
The CEO of Visit Milwaukee predicts what a virtual move could mean for Milwaukee.
"Well, I think that if we are still practicing safer at home policies in the month of August there is more implications than just the DNC not coming," Peggy Williams-Smith of Visit Milwaukee said.
"I don`t even mean locally. I think our businesses nationwide would be in a tough spot if we are still practicing safer at home policies in the month of August," Williams-Smith said.
Convention officials say that the health and well being of the public comes first. DNCC CEO Joe Solmonese said in a statement:
“Ensuring the safety of the convention’s host community and all convention-goers is the top priority of the Democratic National Convention Committee. Unlike President Trump, who refuses to acknowledge that this unprecedented global health crisis will impact convention planning, we have said all along that our team is exploring a range of contingency options to ensure we can deliver a successful convention without unnecessary risk to public health. The convention planning team will remain in constant communication with the local, state, and federal officials responsible for protecting public health and security, and will continue to follow their guidance."
The Host Committee spokesperson also had this to say:
The Host Committee continues to work closely with our partners at the Democratic National Convention Committee to explore a range of contingency options that will allow us to host a successful convention without risk to public health. As we navigate this unprecedented situation, our priorities remain steadfast—to ensure the safety of the Milwaukee community and convention participants, while highlighting the incredible people, places, and other attributes that make our city such a special place to live and visit.
No decision has been made as to what the convention will look like come August.