Update: The RNC confirmed Milwaukee will be the host city for the 2024 convention. Read more here.
MILWAUKEE — A vote to finalize the host city of the 2024 Republican National Convention (RNC) is set to happen on Friday during the Republican National Committee's Summer Meeting in Chicago.
Milwaukee is likely going to secure the event after Nashville took itself out of the running earlier this week. Last month, the GOP site selection committee voted to recommend Milwaukee as the host city.
Leaders behind the effort to bring the convention to Milwaukee say work to ensure a successful event will begin as soon as the vote is finalized Friday.
"Nervous anticipation," is how Marty Brooks, President and CEO of the Wisconsin Center District said he was feeling Thursday. "We've spent a lot of months getting ready for the RNC to select us."
Brooks called this a "transformation period" for Milwaukee.
"I'm on my way to Chicago right now so that I'm there for the official signing of the actual paperwork that says Milwaukee is going to be the official host," Peggy Williams-Smith, President and CEO of Visit Milwaukee told TMJ4's Ryan Jenkins on Thursday.
She said once the ink is dry on that paperwork, there will be a lot of communication released to the public about next steps in getting involved.
"The work begins right away. There are a lot of things that we have to do to make sure we are ready to host a convention of this magnitude," she said.
The 2024 convention is expected to have a $200 million economic impact on the city, according to Visit Milwaukee. It would be a second chance for the hospitality and entertainment industries to cash in after the 2020 Democratic National Convention (DNC) went mostly virtual due to the pandemic.
"We went through, all of this three years ago and then never got to see it come to fruition so we're excited to see it come to fruition," said Williams-Smith.
Over at the Wisconsin Center, Brooks said his team's involvement in the DNC will help them grasp the magnitude of this event.
"50,000 people coming to our city over the course of a month, really highlighting it for a peak period of a week, that's a relatively new experience for most of us so having gone through that drill really puts it in a good place mentally knowing we can do this," said Brooks.
Brooks is also focused on finishing the expansion of the convention center. A project that he says will be done before the RNC comes to Milwaukee.
He said all of this is a sign that Milwaukee is able to work together to make great things happen.
"What was great about the DNC and terrific to see with the RNC is this is bipartisanship. This is about what's good for our community, our businesses, our residents," said Brooks.