RNC Milwaukee 2024; more venues being booked for events

Fiserv Forum will soon be decked in Republican red, and across the street, Turner Hall is putting up a much different type of wrapping.

Turner Hall has seen a lot of history in its 142 years. For the first time, it's getting some extra protection.

"We care very much about this national, state, county historic landmark," Milwaukee Turners executive director Emilio De Torre said. "Turner Hall is woven into the fabric of Milwaukee’s history. And as a precautionary measure, we’re putting special shatter-proof film on all of the front-facing windows [...] to make sure, if accidents do occur, no accidents will hopefully damage our building."

The historic building is booked for the 2024 Republican National Convention.

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As well as American Family Field, Milwaukee's largest sports stadium. During the RNC, thousands will party here.

Alabama GOP Chairman and RNC vice chair for the southern region John Wahl is hosting the party at American Family Field. On the field, there will be a stage with music and guest speakers, plus food and drinks.

"I think this is going to be the biggest and most exciting party outside of RNC programming," Wahl said. "And you better bet there’s going to be a southern flair to the food [...] now, look, I didn’t say we weren't going to have some authentic Wisconsin food, too. You better bet, there’s going to be beer and cheese curds, too."

The whole region could see a flood of cash.

"So, $200 million has been thrown out since 2008, and in 2016, it was different, there wasn’t as much as inflation," Peggy Williams-Smith with Visit Milwaukee said. "Our hotel rates alone are double what they were in Cleveland. So, we’re going to have no problem meeting this economic impact number."

She said there has been a lot of booking activity in the last few weeks.

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"I think the job of politics is last-minute a lot of times. I think there’s huge opportunities for businesses that aren’t booked to still make money during the convention," she said. "There are going to be people here who are eating and drinking."

For the Milwaukee Turners, the extra money will help its nonprofit work.

"Certainly, every dollar in revenue we pour back into the programs that we offer for free, to the folks who live here in Milwaukee County, and into the preservation of this historic landmark," De Torre said. "As you can see, there are no level surfaces or right angles here, and so doing the extensive repairs that have been neglected for many years is of the utmost importance to us."

A landmark now with more protection for a new moment in American history.