CHICAGO — For a city that’s been in the headlines for many of the wrong reasons, securing the 2024 DNC would be a big win for local officials and the local economy.
On Friday during a face to face with Democratic party officials, Governor Pritzker and Mayor Lightfoot will pitch Chicago as host of the 2024 Democratic National Convention.
“Chicago is one of the greatest cities in the entire world. It’s a place that many, many people come to visit because it’s beautiful because we have festivals here. This is the birthplace of gospel music, it’s where Barack Obama is from. We have a lot to offer,” Gov. Pritzker said.
The convention will take place in 2024 but an exact date is still to be determined. Chicago formally launched a bid for the DNC early last month with this video narrated by Common.
Officials said the Chicago Host Committee is prepared to raise millions for the convention and the city will highlight its convention venues, restaurants and 45,000 hotel rooms in the central business district.
What a lot of convention attendees have realized over the last several DNC conventions is that they don’t want to be on busses for several hours to go back and forth from the venues,” said CEO of the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association Michael Jacobson. “And I think when you look at how many rooms we have packed in a very close proximity most attendees will be able to be not only housed downtown but really be able to walk from venue to venue.”
Jacobson said the convention’s impact would be felt for decades.
“One thing that Chicago’s suffering from is a perception issue and I think there’s no better way to change someone’s perceptions about the City of Chicago than to by getting them to come to the city and see for themselves how great of a city it is,” Jacobson said.
Sources told WGN News New York is Chicago’s main competition. But Atlanta, Houston and Phoenix are also in the mix.
“We’ve hosted Democratic conventions before. 1996 was fantastic. Anybody that was around for the Democratic convention knows that Chicago really showed off well to the entire nation,” Pritzker said. “So we’re going to do it again in 2024.”
Illinois is also looking to become an early presidential primary state, maybe even first-in-the nation in 2024. The state will meet with party insiders about that later this month.