Should Milwaukee ask for a 'rain check' on the DNC?
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, says she has floated the idea to DNC Chairman Tom Perez of hosting the party convention in a "gigantic" stadium.
There is a precedent for accepting a nomination in a stadium. JFK accepted the nomination at the L.A. Collesium in 1960, and Barack Obama accepted the 2008 nomination at Mile High Stadium in Denver.
“Get a gigantic stadium, and put people six feet apart," Pelosi said. "Then maybe instead of having 80,000 people there you would have 16,000 people there, and just do it all in one day.”
DNC Host Committee CEO Joe Solmonese responded to Pelosi's suggestion with a statement: “Protecting the health and well-being of our host community and everyone involved with the convention will drive every decision we make as we put plans in place for August. As we continue to learn more about the coronavirus and the impact it’s having on our country, we’ll continue to follow the guidance of public health experts and adjust our contingency plans. America has changed because of coronavirus, and we need to change with it, but I’m confident that we’ll be able to deliver a successful convention in Milwaukee this summer.”
Miller Park does have more than twice the capacity of Fiserv Forum at nearly 42,000, but the type of stadium Pelosi suggested does not exist in Milwaukee. Lambeau Field and Camp Randall exist as in-state possibilities for this type of a move. Pelosi added that it is not her decision, and she has not worked out any logistics for the proposal.
UWM Professor Mordecai Lee said this kind of plan would have a minimal effect on the Milwaukee economy compared to what the city expected.
“If it’s only a one day symbolic activity, how many delegates would want to schlepp to Milwaukee," Lee asked. "And how much money would they spend here?”
Lee suggested the best option for Milwaukee would be scrapping this year entirely, and asking the DNC to host the 2024 convention.
“Maybe Milwaukee should say, hey, we understand the reality of it," Lee said. "We don’t want a symbolic convention. We don’t want a one day thing. We want an I owe you that four years from now, you’re going to do it in Milwaukee for four days. I think that’s probably the best that we could salvage out of this situation.”
Perez did not respond to a request for comment on Pelosi's suggestion Monday. Last month, he responded to CBS 58 asking about a "rain check" scenario by doubling down that he is confident the convention can be hosted in Milwaukee in 2020.