Possible 2024 RNC in Milwaukee detailed in new framework agreement

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- For the first time, we're seeing what the 2024 Republican National Convention could look like if Milwaukee is selected as the host city.

CBS 58 obtained a copy of a framework agreement drafted by the city that details what will be required to host the convention and how it will all come together.

The Milwaukee Common Council's Steering and Rules committee is scheduled to discuss and possibly approve the framework agreement at its meeting next Wednesday, May 25.

As the city wooed the RNC site selection committee earlier this year, the short-term impact on the region was reported to be $200 million in economic impact and 45,000 people expected to visit the city.

But this document starts to show the enormous scope of a possible convention. It explains the need for office space, parking, hotels, technology, transportation, and the huge cost of security.

The 34-page framework agreement details the massive amount of work required to host the 2024 Republican National Convention, from building infrastructure to providing security to employing volunteers.

Funding is one of the key provisions, and it's important to separate the host committee from the city itself. The agreement says "the Host Committee shall be solely responsible for raising the sum of all necessary funds." And later it says, "For the avoidance of doubt, neither the RNC, nor the City shall be responsible for raising the Convention Funds."

If Milwaukee is selected as the host city, and if the agreement is signed, the host committee will have six months to prove it can cover the financial obligations.

The biggest cost will be security. The city will provide the bulk of it; the agreement states the city will work with the US Department of Homeland Security and the Secret Service, and will "provide police, fire, security, bomb disposal and emergency and rescue services."

A "Security Grant" from the federal government will be available to fund or reimburse security costs, which the agreement says is anticipated to be $50,000,000 based on past conventions.

Part of the security plan will require magnetometers, hand scanners, package scanners, and x-ray machines to help secure all points of entry into the convention.

The city will also provide fire and EMS service, security for a demonstration area and parade route, and will shut down and secure city streets as necessary. And parking for 2500 cars is needed, as is space for at least 350 buses.

The framework agreement provides for gavel-to-gavel coverage, saying the city will make its best efforts to "broadcast, and live web stream, the Convention proceedings on the City-owned or public access cable station".

The agreement lists three possible time frames: the convention would be held in mid-July or either of two weeks at the end of August, and Milwaukee will not host any other political party convention in 2024.

And the agreement also says efforts will be made to employ diverse and historically underutilized businesses, which are defined as "a woman-owned, minority person-owned, veteran-owned, disabled person-owned, or LGBTQ person-owned business."

Nashville is the other finalist city, but previously Politico reported Milwaukee is the "frontrunner".

VISIT Milwaukee says the long-term impacts of hosting a convention could go well beyond the $200 million in economic impact. Ahead of the 2012 and 2016 Republican National Conventions (the last two pre-pandemic conventions), technology companies invested hundreds of millions of dollars in technology and network upgrades in Tampa and Cleveland, respectively.

VISIT Milwaukee also said, "Milwaukee’s pursuit of this convention alone has already generated 6 billion earned media impressions, or roughly the reach of an entire Super Bowl’s worth of ads. This exposure keeps the city top of mind for leisure travelers and meeting planners alike."

The weekend violence had given some people pause, wondering if it would diminish Milwaukee's chances in the eyes of the RNC site selection committee.

But several city and community leaders say no, including Mayor Cavalier Johnson and leaders from the Bucks and VISIT Milwaukee. Many said issues of violence are not unique to just Milwaukee.

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