by Cheryl-Anne Sturken | June 18, 2018
The June 15 deadline has come and gone, and the Democratic National Committee first whittled down the list of cities vying to host the 2020 Democratic National Convention to eight hopefuls that have now been reduced to six. Those making the final cut are Atlanta, Houston, Miami Beach, Milwaukee, New York and San Francisco.
Milwaukee has never before hosted a national party convention and is the only Midwest city to make the final lineup. Houston last hosted the event in 1928. The DNC site-selection committee is expected to visit the six finalists this summer, with the final choice of the host city to be announced later this year or early in 2019. The convention itself will take place July 13-16, 2020.
 
Just as in past years, bids to host the DNC are fiercely competitive, as the event is expected to draw upward of 50,000 attendees, have an economic impact of more than $200 million and throw a global spotlight on the host city. "Milwaukee is prepared to provide a first-class delegate experience and turn the national spotlight on America's 'fresh coast,'" Mayor Tom Barrett said in the cover letter to the city's 149-page submission to the DNC. "Milwaukee is an affordable and easily accessible city, known for our hospitality and our actively engaged corporate community. We have what it takes to make the DNC shine."
 
Bolstering that bid was a letter of support from U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, and the competitive muscle of Alex Lasry, senior vice president of the Milwaukee Bucks and chair of the city's local organizing committee. He wasted no time on social media tweeting minutes after the bid had been submitted, "It's official! We have submitted our bid to host the 2020 Democratic National Convention," with the hashtag #Milwaukee2020.
 
Of the two cities dropped out of the bidding, Denver, which last hosted the delegates in 2008, realized it couldn't work with the DNC's dates. Birmingham, Ala. -- which in 2016 spent well over $200,000 trying to lure the convention but was passed over for Philadelphia -- was back in the ring for 2020 by invitation of the DNC, which this past March formally asked the city to apply.

"We were honored to receive the encouragement... to submit a proposal for Birmingham to host the DNC in 2020," said Rick Journey, director of communications for Mayor Randall Woodfin's office of public information. "After a closer look, we recognized the huge amount of resources needed to prepare the city to be competitive in the selection process, and successful if we were to be selected as the host. We have determined that we must keep our focus first and foremost on our priorities to the people of Birmingham through neighborhood revitalization, workforce development and business growth."
 
Getting selected is both an honor and financial boon for the winning city, but it is also a logistical and financial nightmare. Based on past party conventions, the host city would have to raise between $50 million to $80 million to stage the event and meet some heavy demand requirements, particularly relating to event facilities, hotel accommodations, transportation, security and technology -- in addition to proving why it checks all the boxes as the perfect destination to represent the party's agenda.