With an estimated economic impact of $150 million, the city of Chicago will now begin to prepare to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention.
The Windy City beat out Atlanta and New York City to host the event.
Fifty thousand people are expected to descend on the city August 19-22.
During a press conference Wednesday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the convention is a chance to improve the image of Chicago to outsiders.
“We have too many things out there in the mouths of pundits and critics who talk about our city in a way that is unrecognizable to us who live here,” Lightfoot said.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the selection makes sense because Chicago is at the center of the blue wall of key states.
“Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota will show that Democrats don’t take this region for granted, that this is key to victory in 2024,” Pritzker said.
Officials have put a $90 million price tag on the event. In a pitch to land the convention, Pritzker and some wealthy corporate leaders pledged to make sure the Democratic National Committee could walk away debt-free. The group was trying to ease fears of a repeat of the 2012 convention in Charlotte, N.C. which ended with an $8 million tab.
The big speeches will take place at the United Center while the McCormick Place will be home to most of the meetings.
Lightfoot said the city is relatively prepared because of the last convention nearly three decades ago.
“Because of the work that was really initiated by the Daley Administration in preparation for the 1996 convention, a lot of the work around the infrastructure was already done”, Lightfoot said.
The GOP chimed in on the selection. Tommy Pigott, Rapid Response Director for the Republican National Committee, said in a statement that “Democrats just chose one of the worst-run cities in America for their convention: Chicago, Illinois.”
The Republican convention will be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.