Milwaukee should be leery, careful and realistic with their assumptions and expectations regarding hosting the Democratic National Convention.
In general, events like this are a boom for some and a bust for others. And, if you're lucky, you'll break even. Yet, hosting these events is far from a no-brainer, win-win for everyone.
As U.S News reported:
According to economists Robert Baade, Robert Baumann and Victor Matheson – who looked at the effect of every national political convention between 1970 and 2005 – such events "have a negligible impact on local economies." They found that "neither the presence of the Republican nor the Democratic National Convention has a discernable impact on employment, personal income, or personal income per capita in the cities where the events were held."As another researcher put it:
By focusing on the 'bright, shiny object' of a political convention, we might be losing focus on the real economic fundamentals that could bring long-term prosperity.Milwaukee has already been transforming itself and the region - without an expanded convention center, without a political convention, etc. The Democratic National Convention might be fun and lucrative for some, but don't expect long-term gains from this political circus. At best, Milwaukeans should hope for infrastructure improvements coinciding with the convention - roads, rail, water, electric, etc. - that will also benefit the city as a whole.
For Further Reading:
Rejecting “Conventional” Wisdom: Estimating the Economic Impact of National Political Conventions
American Cities and the Politics of Party Conventions