2024 RNC: Stage cleared for Milwaukee to host after Nashville officially bows out
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Tuesday night the city of Nashville chose not to approve a framework agreement with the RNC, effectively removing the city from contention for the 2024 Republican National Convention.
Only Milwaukee remains.
Now Milwaukee civic leaders are preparing for official word later this week that Milwaukee will host the convention, and the tens of thousands of visitors expected to come with it.
Tens of thousands of visitors and hundreds of millions of dollars are expected to be headed to Milwaukee in the summer of 2024. The only thing left to do now is to make it official.
Peggy Williams-Smith, president & CEO of VISIT Milwaukee, said, "We can't wait to be able to ring the bell in our office that says we've got a signed contract."
And the VISIT Milwaukee team may be able to ring that bell this week, after Nashville effectively conceded Tuesday.
Williams-Smith says the process to secure the 2024 Republican National Convention for Milwaukee has been exhilarating and exciting.
Milwaukee's bipartisan effort started last year with a trip to Washington, DC. It included four site visits, wining and dining the selection committee, and a lot of waiting as the competition was whittled away.
If and when Milwaukee is selected, the real work will soon begin. But Williams-Smith said, "I would probably say that you won't notice a lot until 2023."
The first wheels that will be put in motion will likely be contracts with hotels and venues throughout the city. The host committee and RNC will each finalize leadership teams.
And there will be lots of site visits over the next two years. Williams-Smith said, "Groups that are going to host parties, host meetings, they're going to want space in the city."
For the past several weeks, many Nashville councilmembers came out against the convention. Nashville Metropolitan Council Member Bob Mendes said, "If [the sponsor] puts his legislation up to a vote, they will fail tonight I believe."
Several metro councilmembers have cited the burden and disruption to their city. Mendes said, "You can be sure the Secret Service is going to drop a veil of security over the conventions in 2024 unlike anything they've done previously, and it is disruptive to the people who live here."
But Milwaukee leaders don't share those concerns here. Williams-Smith said, "It is four or five days out of an entire year, and the economic benefit it will leave the city with is something that so outweighs any inconvenience."
The official word will likely come this week. Right now 168 RNC delegates are meeting in Chicago for the party's summer meeting. They're expected to vote on the host city Friday with an announcement expected soon after.