New York jumps in race to host 2024 Democratic National Convention: Big competition for Chicago

Four cities bid for the 2024 Democratic convention by the Friday deadline: Chicago, New York, Houston and Atlanta.

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An aerial view shows Madison Square Garden (center L), and empire State Building (center R) and the city skyline of midtown Manhattan and New York city on August 5, 2021

Photo by ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Four cities submitted bids to host the 2024 Democratic convention by Friday’s deadline, with Chicago’s front runner status challenged by the emergence of New York City’s bid.

A Democratic National Committee official told the Chicago Sun-Times that bids also were received from Atlanta and Houston.

Given the politics of Georgia and Texas — from voting rights to restricting abortion to their Republican governors — it seems highly unlikely the bids of Atlanta or Houston — where the National Rifle Association is holding its convention this weekend — have any chance of prevailing.

New York City — which until this week has not been mentioned as a possible bidder — is another matter and provides big city competition for Chicago.

Like Chicago, New York City has an abundance of union hotel rooms and airports; celebrates its diversity; offers great arenas and other exposition spaces; has museums, restaurants and cultural offerings; plus there are baseball teams and water attractions.

Chicago and New York City are run by Democrats with the state governors also Democrats who champion abortion and other rights. The Big Apple and the Second City also have major contributors for the host committee that will raise millions of dollars to bankroll convention activities.

New York City disclosed details from their bid, with Madison Square Garden as the primary site with various convention-related events at the Jacob K. Javits Center.

Chicago is pitching the United Center, McCormick Place and the Wintrust Arena, among other venues, all close to the Loop — but not walking distance.

New York City said in a release that using the Garden and Javits center would allow “the entire convention — from venues and office space to hotels and media — to take place within a 20-minute walk.”

New York Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement, “This is the most diverse city in America, and one that reflects the face of not only the Democratic party, but the entire nation. There is no better place for the DNC to host their convention than New York City, which is why we are proud to submit our bid today for the 2024 convention.”

“New York City was epicenter of the pandemic, and now we’re leading the recovery. And the convention will pour hundreds of millions of additional dollars into our economy in a part of the city that was among the hardest hit. New York City is the biggest stage in the world, and we want to welcome the DNC here to celebrate democracy, freedom, and progress,” he said.

The New York bid, the city said, has “support from leaders in government, business, hospitality, cultural institutions, and labor, such as New York’s congressional delegation, New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, the New York City Hospitality Alliance, the Broadway League, and the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union.”

Having an abundance of close hotel rooms is important to the DNC. New York said, “the city has already secured commitments from 86 hotels to provide nearly 14,500 hotel rooms to delegates and other convention visitors.”

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, like Adams a Democrat, said in a statement, “New York is the nation’s hub for commerce and culture and is home to the finest event venues around the globe, including the world-class expanded Jacob Javits Center. The 2024 Democratic National Convention would play a pivotal role in helping New York build back better than ever from the COVID pandemic — attracting visitors, supporting small businesses, and generating robust economic activity.”

A spokesperson for Chicago’s convention bid organizers, Tarrah Cooper Wright, said in a statement, “Chicago is proud to bid to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention. Our city has the infrastructure and abundant resources to successfully host a large-scale event and create an unforgettable experience for the tens of thousands of people it will draw.

“As a diverse city in the heart of the Midwest, Chicago exemplifies the best that our country has to offer now and our aspirations for the future. We have a proven track record of hosting massive events like the NATO Summit and a visitor experience that delights the millions who visit our one-of-a-kind attractions each year like the Air & Water Show and Lollapalooza. Most important, Chicago is a city that shows what it looks like when Americans vote for policies that deliver for American families. We can’t wait to welcome the country to Chicago in 2024.”

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