Milwaukee Harley-Davidson yearly Homecoming; who pays for it?

Harley-Davidson's Homecoming isn't just a company effort. It requires help from both the city and the county, so how is Milwaukee positioned to handle this year after year?

Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson said the city can handle this, especially after approving the sales tax.

While the celebration pulls some city resources away from taxpayers, you aren't the only one paying for it.

During the 120th-anniversary celebration, Harley-Davidson CEO Jochen Zeitz announced the company is making the Homecoming an annual event. 

Harley-Davidson Homecoming at Milwaukee's Veterans Park

"We want to make this into, you know, one of the biggest motorcycle rallies every year," said Zeitz. 

He wants to make Milwaukee the motorcycle capital of the world, paying homage to Harley's birthplace.

To that, Mayor Johnson said bring on the bikes.

"This is the 'city of festivals' for a reason," said Mayor Johnson. "This is a city of spectacle, and that's exactly what Harley-Davidson put on for riders across the United States and around the world here in Milwaukee."

Harley-Davidson 120th Anniversary celebration

SIGN UP TODAY: Get daily headlines, breaking news emails from FOX6 News

Though organized privately, Harley-Davidson's Homecoming still uses a lot of your public resources. The Public Works Department supplied permits and roadblocks, as did Milwaukee County Parks. Firefighters and police officers provided public safety help, including extra security and traffic control.

Mayor Johnson said the city can deliver this annually because taxpayers aren't the only ones paying for it.

"There will be some payment that Harley-Davidson makes to help cover some of those police costs," said Mayor Johnson. 

Harley-Davidson Homecoming at Milwaukee's Veterans Park

In a statement to FOX6, the Milwaukee Police Department said: "The final bill has not been calculated, but there will be significant cost recovery for the police service the events received."

Harley-Davidson officials have not said whether they're planning for concerts in Veterans Park in 2024. 

We do know they still plan to host bigger celebrations every five years for the anniversaries.