DNC Chicago: 2024 Democratic National Convention to be held at United Center, McCormick Place

Democrats to convene ahead of 2024 presidential election

Wednesday, April 12, 2023
Chicago, long considered keystone of Midwest's 'blue wall,' gets 2024 DNC
Chicago's pro-labor, pro-abortion rights, keystone position in the Midwestern 'blue wall' were among the reasons the city was selected to host the 2024 Democratic National Conventi

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago will host the 2024 Democratic National Convention at United Center and McCormick Place, the Democratic National Committee announced Tuesday.

Chicago beat out New York City and Atlanta to host the convention, which will take place from Aug. 19 to 22, 2024.

It is expected to draw between 5,000 and 7,000 delegates and alternates and attract up to 50,000 visitors to Chicago.

WATCH: A brief history of political conventions in Chicago

From Democrat to Republican, uneventful to infamous, Chicago has hosted more national political conventions than any other city.

Evening events will be at the United Center - the main site of the 1996 Democratic convention in Chicago - with daytime business to be conducted at the McCormick Place Convention Center.

LOOK BACK: 1968 Democratic National Convention 50 Years Later

Illinois' solid blue status, and its pro-labor and pro-abortion messaging, are considered factors in the DNC's decision. So was the election of progressive Brandon Johnson to be the next mayor of Chicago; Johnson pitched Chicago to President Joe Biden when the president called to congratulate him.

"It gives us a stamp of approval that we needed a really crucial time in Chicago. You've got political change, a progressive wave coming in. that's another boost to Chicago that says yes, this is where the Democratic Party wants to be right now," said ABC7 Political Analyst Laura Washington.

The largest city in the Midwest has long been considered a bastion of the pro-labor movement that helped Johnson's campaign for mayor, and speaking on cable news Tuesday night the city's newly elected leader vowed not to forget that when the convention comes to town.

"And so I'm going to work hard to make sure those neighborhoods that have experienced drought for a generation, that we re-route the river, if you will, to make sure there is a real flow of investment to those communities," Johnson said.

By anointing Chicago as convention host, Democrats are hoping to amplify the city and state's liberal policies on hot-button issues like hospitality for undocumented immigrants, protection for women's healthcare and abortion rights, and $15 minimum wage. Chicago is the keystone in the Democrat's so-called "blue wall."

"If you want to talk to the most battleground states in a presidential election, you need to be in Chicago because we're going to be talking to Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio," said U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth.

The convention is also expected to bring an economic boost of an estimated $120 million or more to the city and surrounding area. The city of Chicago alone has more than 43,000 hotel rooms, and hospitality insiders expect rooms and restaurants deep into the suburbs to fill up.

The 2024 Democratic National Convention could bring an economic boost of $120 million or more to the city and especially its hospitality industry.

"This will give us an opportunity to really show people what Chicago is about. It's a great city. Great vibe. We're excited about it and we're ready for it," said Tommie Van, general manager of the Residence Inn on LaSalle Street in the Loop.

That location is the largest Residence Inn in the country, and Van expects all 382 rooms to be sold out during the DNC. The Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association expects rooms throughout the city and suburbs to be fully booked during the convention.

Tourism industry leaders in the state are looking forward to the worldwide media contingent that converges on the city to cover the convention, They believe that will help send out positive images of Chicago, rather than the crime that has dominated much national media coverage in recent years.

"We want to draw attention to what we are good at. We are good at showcasing our city, good at serving people. You couldn't find a more friendly city anywhere in the country than Chicago," said Sam Sanchez of the Illinois Restaurant Association.

Sanchez said the convention will provide a huge boost for the city's eateries, showing off a wide range of cuisine.

Jack Lavin from the Chicagoland Chamber joined us to talk about the impact of Chicago hosting the Democratic National Convention next year.

Leaders say the hospitality industry has rebounded pretty well from the pandemic and the convention will likely boost the city's image for years to come. And as a bonus, the timing of the convention may be one of the best times of year to showcase the beautiful sites and features of Chicago.

"Look at the lasting impact this will have on the perception of Chicago. We'll have one week of 24/7 worldwide media coverage with the Chicago skyline in the background," said Michael Jacobson of the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association.

The Republicans will be hosting their 2024 convention in nearby Milwaukee.

READ MORE: Days of Rage: Timeline of the 1968 Democratic National Convention

Midwestern Democrats have been coalescing around Chicago's pro-labor history and proximity to perennial battleground states like Michigan and Wisconsin in their case for the nation's third-largest city.

"Chicago is a great choice to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention," President Joe Biden said in a statement. "Democrats will gather to showcase our historic progress including building an economy from the middle out and bottom up, not from the top down. From repairing our roads and bridges, to unleashing a manufacturing boom, and creating over 12.5 million new good-paying jobs, we've already delivered so much for hard working Americans - now it's time to finish the job."

Chicago last hosted the Democratic National Convention in 1996.

"The 2024 Democratic National Convention in Chicago will welcome people from across the nation to an unforgettable event highlighting our party's vision for lifting up working families and those who too often have been left out and left behind," Gov. JB Pritzker said in a statement. "Our great global city and its diverse communities, unparalleled hospitality, and world renowned venues shows off the best of America and its people represent the heart of our country."

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois, said in a statement, "The Midwest is key to a victory in 2024, and there is no city better positioned to reach those voters than Chicago. I look forward to welcoming the world to Illinois in 2024 and showing what it looks like when we all come together to create a future built on policies that deliver for American families."

"I am deeply honored that President Biden and the DNC have chosen Chicago," Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said. "I want to commend all the City government leaders who demonstrated with a proven track record of excellence that by choosing Chicago, the DNC, convention delegates, volunteers and others would be treated to a first class experience in our world class city. The DNC will create once-in-a-generation opportunities for job creation and business growth here in our city, and I'm proud that we got it done for the people of Chicago."

Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson also released a statement, saying, "Chicago is a world-class city that looks like America and demonstrates the values of the Democratic Party. We are unmatched when it comes to hosting events of this scale. I look forward to working closely with the DNC to facilitate a spectacular convention that showcases Chicago's diverse culture, our beautiful lakefront, our renowned hospitality sector, and our best asset: our amazing people."

ABC News contributed to this report.