General DNC FAQ

There’s a lot of DNC 2020 information to sift through online. Additionally, with convention planning just beginning, many of the details are subject to change. Following are answers to basic questions about the convention, and we’ll continue to add more as needed.
When is the DNC?

The Democratic National Convention (DNC) begins Monday, August 17. 

What is the DNC’s economic impact to the Greater Milwaukee area?

Total expected economic impact to the area is $200 million – this includes direct, indirect, and induced spending. Direct spending is the money delegates and attendees pay for hotels, bars, restaurants, car rentals, venue rentals, etc. Indirect spending includes vendors or businesses who have an increase in production because of the convention. Induced spending includes wages paid to workers as a result of the increased business from the convention, that later gets reinvested into the community.

Where does the convention take place?
The primary venue for the convention will be Fiserv Forum. Additional convention meetings and events will utilize the Wisconsin Center District campus. The campus includes the Wisconsin Center, Miller High Life Theatre, and UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.
What will the security footprint look like?
The security footprint will cover Cherry Street to Clybourn Street, and 10th Street to Water Street. At this time, no street closures have been announced.

The secure measures for the convention begin the weekend prior to the convention and end immediately following the event. Businesses within the footprint are encouraged to remain open during the run of the convention, and locals and visitors are encouraged to shop, dine, work, and have fun throughout Milwaukee during the convention.
Additional security measures will be announced leading up to the convention.
How many people are coming to Milwaukee for the convention?

We expect 50,000 attendees on peak convention days. About a third of those will be delegates, with the remainder being families of delegates, corporate sponsors, interest groups, and more.

Where will convention delegates be spending their time?

A delegate’s day can last anywhere from 7 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. In the mornings, delegates will attend breakfast with their state delegations at their hotels or other venues citywide. During the day, delegates will be active within Fiserv Forum and the Wisconsin Center District campus for official DNC events. In the late evening after convention events end, many delegates will likely seek out food, beverage, and entertainment, while others may return to their hotels.

Will getting around be difficult? Will highways or streets be closed during the DNC?

The security footprint has been identified as Cherry Street to Clybourn Street, and 10th Street to Water Street. At this time, no street closures have been announced.
We encourage locals and visitors to plan ahead as they head into downtown to go to work or experience the convention. This may include allowing for extra travel time, finding alternative parking options, carpooling or ridesharing, utilizing public transportation, or walking to their destination. 

Will convention attendees need to stay far away from the city?
Compared to other cities that have hosted the DNC, Milwaukee is a compact city and metro area with relatively little urban sprawl. Because of this, all of the lodging needed for the DNC is located within a short drive of downtown. 

Point of comparison:
  • Milwaukee (2020): 10-15 minute drive across the city, 15 minutes from airport to downtown
  • Philadelphia (2016): 55 minute drive across the city, 30 minutes from airport to downtown
  • Charlotte (2012): 45 minute drive across the city, 15 minutes from airport to downtown
  • Denver (2008): 25 minute drive across the city, 40 minutes from airport to downtown