Milwaukee Bucks VP Alex Lasry on winning the bid for the 2020 Democratic National Convention.
Milwaukee Bucks VP Alex Lasry on winning the bid for the 2020 Democratic National Convention.
DNC bid chairman Alex Lasry talks about what it means for Milwaukee's Fiserv Forum, and the entire state of Wisconsin, to be selected as the 2020 Democratic National Convention host.
It's like, "four Super Bowls in four days".
>>> we now present for the record with neil heinen.
>>> the city of milwaukee won the bid to host the 2020 democratic national convention.
That is next.
I am mark koehn filling in for neil heiman this week.
Now, this is the first time that any convention is held a convention since chicago in 1996 and it will take it place of the milwauke bucks, and the convention is expected to draw more than 50,000 visitors with an estimated $200 million impact on the region.
Here to talk more about the convention and the red-hot milwaukee bucks, we can't forget that, is chair of the committee, alex lasry.
>> thank you very much.
>> and tell me where did this all began.
>> and began right after the election, the mayor and the d&c director and me also started talk about wouldn't it be cool to have a convention in milwaukee?
With the new arena starting to be built, the pfizer forum, we were like you know what, this can actually be possible as we did some digging and found out that we actually do fulfill all of the requirements, so let's had to submit, what all was included in that?
>> it was very technical, you know, what are the standards of the arena and how many hotels we have and what is her fundraising plan, but a lot of it was also is telling our story and showing the support in and around the city and state and also around the midwest that you know, people want the convention in milwaukee and that there is a real passion and energy for having it in the midwest, and in milwaukee in particular.
>> what were the initial concerns for the committee?
>> for us, it was about getting over the homes of these preconceived notions of having a convention in a smaller city, people thinking okay, could milwaukee actually host a convention?
Do we have enough hotel rooms and is there the capacity to raise money?
What would it be like to host in a small city.
Once we were able to, i think, tell the store and get them over the preconceived notions and show them the hard data that said we have enough hotel rooms, pfizer forum will be the nicest arena you've ever done a convention in, we have the space around the city and the weather will be great.
>> in july?
>> yeah, the one time we really get remote our weather.
[laughter] >> and then once we were able to do that for me it was a no-brainer.
>> eight cities initially applied, is that correct?
>> yes i think that there was a like new york, san francisco.
>> the usual suspects?
>> and coming down to the final three between us, miami, and houston, what getting this bid showed is that wisconsin should be on the map and in the conversation as one of these major states, in a similar way that florida and texas are, and not just politically, but a state that needs to be put on the map and taken seriously as a top-tier premier place to live, work, and play.
>> now we received video from the forum.
If you've not seen it before, it is spectacular.
How much did politics have a play in it?
Wisconsin is a swing state?
>> i think that it being a swing state is politically interesting but the most important thing that they were looking for is, can milwaukee host something like this?
Logistically and capacity wise, they ended up looking at an scene was no, milwaukee can host this with all of the bells and whistles we want, everything we are looking for to make sure we have a successful convention, you know?
Swing state and all of that, it is nice, but most importantly, what they wanted to see is can milwaukee do it.
And we are showing the world by getting the convention that we can do it, no more conventions can look at wisconsin is a place that they want to be.
>> did members of the convention visit the city?
>> yes, they did two visits, one in august, another back in december, and they just really fell in love with the city.
And, i think all that wisconsin had offered.
>> what kind of commas do they make you?
>> like this is probably the best form that we have seen around but really what they love was, you know, how compact the city was especially the downtown, how easy it is to navigate, and when they came in august, the weather was great.
And i think that they love the local restaurants you know what they are really looking for is, you know, for four days, people are living here.
Before that, staff is here.
And this is the place that people and staff can enjoy they can see how big it was for the city and state.
>> i think the mayor used the word renaissance, that the city is going through that right now?
>> and it is undoubtable, that that is what it is.
You see all of the effects of this rippling across the city with development happening over on north avenue with the sherman phoenix, a great redevelopment project that happened in sherman park, and i think you are also starting to see a lot of people are coming back downtown even from the suburbs into milwaukee, not just for a one off event but to really spend time there.
So i think that milwaukee is that quintessential american story, a real microcosm of what is happening across the country, and a perfect representation of what conventions are about.
>> and a facility like the pfizer forum can spark a lot of activity, as happened in minneapolis, so how much do you attribute the building with this ripple effects?
>> look, i think that the pfizer form is one of the biggest reasons that we have the convention, and i think is one of the biggest reasons that you're starting to see this renaissance in milwaukee because the forum is more than just basketball.
You look at the concert lineup and is one of the top lineups around the country.
So, what you are seeing is that milwaukee is becoming and i think wisconsin in general is becoming a sports entertainment destination not just a place where the box or marquette is playing, but an arena that is drawing the best acts.
Justin timberlake, cher, celine dion, elton john will be coming.
You name it.
People are coming to milwaukee in now, you see people around the country coming to milwaukee and wisconsin to be a part of, i think, one of the biggest entertainment venues across the country.
>> and the brewers had a lot to do that too, i think, last season really putting milwaukee on the map.
>> yes, i think you can assume was that milwaukee is going to have their moment, and this is not an opportunity that we can waste or run away from but embrace it and figure out, okay, how do we introduce the state to the country and do to show everybody that this is a place where i want to grow up and live and i can have a great job and live affordably in a city that, i think, has all of the bones of making it what any other city has, is just about time that we start, i think, promoting ourselves and showing the confidence that hey, we need to be in the conversations with miami in houston and new york and chicago and we are not just this city that you know, is a northern suburb of chicago.
We are our own great city.
Brewers are hopefully the soon to be mvp wearing milwaukee across her chest, that means something and people will start looking at milwaukee and saying well if christian yell edge, andre, they love to be there and are a part of it, milwaukee must be big time and i want to go take a look.
>> arguably three of the best athletes in the country right or.
>> this is an incredible time, i think not only to be living in wisconsin but to be a sports fan of wisconsin with arguably, the three best players of their respective sportswriter.
>> now this will open up a lot of eyes.
Now we will continue to talk about the >>> welcome back to for the record.
We are talking with the 2020 bid committee chair, now let's talk about the economic impact.
We said $220 million was a direct impact?
>> is, direct impact of $250,000 with 50,000 people coming into the state.
This will overflow not just into milwaukee but have a ripple effect across the state as people come into the week before, maybe staying the weekend after and experience all that wisconsin has to offer.
I remember in philadelphia in 2016 i came the weekend before.
A lot of people came the weekend before to really experience the city and state and people were traveling to new jersey for concerts and venues, so you know, i'm really looking at this is not just a city of milwaukee but the entire state of wisconsin to 50,000 people coming in, only 15,000 can fit in the arena there's another 30 to 40,000 people who are going to be looking for something to do at night and during the day, and i think that this is a real opportunity for madison to take advantage and show off their city.
>> and now that is your job right now, the other stuff going on?
>> is pretty much two entities, the dnc see and the host committee, which is going to really run the convention.
Our job is the host committee is to show off the city and state.
When media companies come in, we want to take them around the state to show off wisconsin, and try to really work with them to show that wisconsin is a destination, a tourism destination, so we will be working on how can we really rebrand the state is a place that, you know, really, i think, advertises to the whole country is a place for everyone with something for everybody?
It has great winter sports and summer activities, it should be a year round destination, not just a place where people want to come in the summertime.
>> this is going to have a major economic impact on the city of madison as well?
>> is going to have a major economic impact on the entire state.
Something this big in this massive with this many people coming to one area is going to have ripple effects across everywhere.
Now i would imagine not just because milwaukee can out to handle the hotel space but i imagine people will want to stay in madison.
It's a major city with major companies, the political center of wisconsin.
I imagine people would want to be there and there will be venture capitalist who will want to come in and take a look at the tech sector that is happening, research institutions will be coming and probably will want to talk to the research institutions that are happening here in uw, so i look at this is a real opportunity for the entire state to reintroduce itself to the entire country.
>> so you are going to put on a party, and that takes the money?
>> so that part of your job is raising money?
You have a lot of jobs going on!
[laughter] >> we have a $70 million budget and have seen tremendous support from the business community already, especially locally both in madison and milwaukee with people really showing up and say that, we know what kind of opportunity this is.
This is a chance for us to recruit young professionals, college students, high school students coming here to be a part of this, watching it on t.v..
This is a chance for us to recruit for universities and potential workers to come into the state, so they have seen that.
Were also going to go around the country and try to raise nationally which is an opportunity for us to, you know, bring in the microsoft and google and facebook to come to wisconsin, and try to preach to them about why they might want to be here and open up some offices here in the midwest.
>> i read somewhere that this is comparable to four super bowls in a row.
>> look at that!
[laughter] >> maybe that was you!
[laughter] >> but it is that big of a deal?
>> that is essentially what it is, putting on four super bowls in four days which is why we made such a took such an intense opportunity to go get this because we can't host the super bowl.
We can't host the final four.
They only do those in football stadiums and they're not coming here in february to play in lambeau.
So for us, this is the biggest event we can ever get so by being able to host this, it tells the entire country that wisconsin is able to put on big events and is ready for prime time and needs to be in the conversation.
So i do think this is a big opportunity for us, when we cannot waste.
>> after the convention and going down the road you're going to visit the other cities that have held close to the convention, what is the impact?
>> so, in years two, three, four, look at what happened in denver.
Tinder 10 years ago was not the denver that we think of today, the millennial hub that is one of the fastest growing cities in the country.
That is what milwaukee could use his convention for.
It is not going to be the end be all.
This convention will not cure all ills and change everything but it is a first step in a springboard.
So if you see conviction properly, the next three, four, five years after, that should lead to more business and people taking a look, more tourism, more people moving here, that is why i think it is so important that we think strategically about, okay, how are we trying to position wisconsin is a destination state?
>> and the infrastructure leading up to it.
New restaurants at the airport, sprucing up the summerfest grounds >> what this does is gives us a deadline saying okay, the eyes of the world will be on us in 2020.
What can we do to make this a welcoming place in the butter best foot forward?
And you're already starting to see that with the new restaurants at the airport, and you're starting to see that with, i think, new businesses opening up throughout the state, new hotels and apartment you are already starting to see people getting prepared saying okay, i need to make sure i am ready when the convention comes your.
>> you took an abandoned freeway in downtown milwaukee that is part of the story that we are trying to tell is that milwaukee is having a renaissance.
Wisconsin is having a moment.
What used to be 30 acres of emptiness is now the most lively and energetic space in the whole state.
It is that type of a renaissance story that i think a lot of these midwestern cities, you know, these former rustbelt cities and states are going through.
And i do think that we are a great microcosm of how these former big manufacturing hubs have been moving into the 21st monday on news 3 now this morning... haddie will have a look at your work week forecast.
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We'll show you how the city of madison is helping spread its clean and renewable energy goals across the world.
That and more local news ... starting at 4-30 on news 3 now this morning.
>>> welcome back to for the record.
We are talking about the democratic convention coming to milwaukee in the renaissance of the city is experiencing but also, the milwaukee bucks, the vice president of the organization, talking about a renaissance.
Now these last five years have been exactly what i said, when we bought the team, and our fifth year when we bought the arena that we would be championship contenders.
But no, this has been an up and down the road.
We have learned a lot.
But what bud has been able to do with the team since he took over, changing the way we play turning this into a really modern offense and defense, really, i think maximizing an open up more opportunities for guys like yannis and chris, that really has turned us into a juggernaut.
>> 60 games you want to season?
>> yes, so that was like the first time in like 38 years that we one that many games with the best record in the nba, they where a historic season, but the key is we never won anything in the playoffs or been out of the first round i think since to thousand one.
The new season starts on sunday for us.
That is going to be our first step in what we hope is a really deep playoff run.
>> 6:00 tonight and sunday, the detroit pistons come to town?
Tonight we have a big game, game one of the playoffs.
And we are hoping to make a deep playoff run so as everyone saw this past weekend, we died the river green, so that was exciting.
Were just trying to paint the town milwaukee bucks.
We want the entire city and state to really be behind us because our team really feeds off the energy of our fans, and it is unlike any other team.
When our fans are behind us, we play at a different level, so i think that's why were so excited to have home-court advantage throughout the playoffs because when we are playing at home you're one of the toughest teams to beat.
>> and the fans have responded?
>> i mean, we have sold off every game, we will have three or 500 standing room only tickets.
I think the atmosphere will be electric, something that i think the entire state is ready happened with the brewers run.
And i really expect wisconsin to show out and show up for the box.
>> it has been almost one generation since we have even considered this conversation.
[laughter] >> is pretty amazing!
>> look, this is something that i would be lying if i said this is exactly what we predicted and expected to wildest dream that this early and quickly wisconsin would have embraced the box in the way that they have but it has been humbling, and also, what i think is really great is that our gm has done a great job putting this team together.
You can see all of the pieces coming together, and yannis, i don't know what else you can say about him.
He is the league's best player.
Having guys like yanez and chris, all in wisconsin, is just as much grace the line was a mile and-a-half long.
>> yes, i think that they were waiting like 4 a half hours, and i think what is great about giannis is gracie lives in milwaukee.
>> yes, his brothers went high school here.
One of his brothers is still in high school here.
He has really taken to the city in the state and he wants to represent milwaukee and is proud to wear milwaukee on his chest, and i think again having a lineup like him, that really does wonders for promoting the city and state.
I know that growing up, my favorite players played at georgetown and that is where i wanted to go to college growing up and now i hope there's a group of kids that are saying oh, giannis is playing in milwaukee, i want to go there.
>> now, he is a nice guy, too.
>> yes, he is one of the most humble and nicest guys, but you will not see that when he is on the court.
He is out there on the court and he will kill you if you get in his way.
[laughter] >> now whenever you have i think for the fans, the having a better fan experience so i think people are enjoying coming to the games were pretty thing for our players, this has given them a better facilities.
Trying to give them a state-of-the-art office space so i think that it has had a measurable impact but i think you know what, the biggest impact are the players and coaching staff, you know?
Bringing but in was probably one of the most important free-agent pickups that we made.
So you start to look at it all just coming together, and i think that it has created really one of the best fan experiences and the best team in the nba.
>> all right, well it's a lot of work for you.
>> yes, hopefully we will have a championship parade and then a convention.
>> it is milwaukee's time to shine.
>> yes exactly