The Democratic National Convention will be in Milwaukee next year. Since the announcement, journalists and experts have noted Milwaukee’s lack of hotel rooms for this event, with hotel reservations already stretching south to Chicago. Madison is about 75 miles away and might be completely booked for the DNC. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published an article about the logistical mess.
The DNC is similar to other large events hosted by cities.
Jacksonville, Florida hosted the 2005 Super Bowl. Jacksonville (population 892,000) was the smallest city ever to host the Super Bowl. It did not meet the National Football League (NFL) rule of having a single hotel with at least 750 rooms near the stadium. Predictably, hotel and travel logistics were a nightmare. Jacksonville made up for the lack of hotel rooms with seven cruise ships, which provided about 3,700 of the 17,500 4 or 5 star hotel rooms the NFL requires for Super Bowl week. The city in total had 35,000 rooms for Super Bowl week.
Milwaukee is on Lake Michigan, which probably does not have access to the same large cruise ships. While Milwaukee isn’t Jacksonville, perhaps temporary housing (on boats and Air BnB) could make the hotel shortage more manageable.
What are other ways cities have managed the logistics of large events?