Democratic National Convention Turns to Dust

The+Democratic+National+Convention+was+moved+from+its+original+location+of+Fiserv+Forum+to+the+Wisconsin+Center.+The+convention+was+also+moved+to+an+almost+entirely+virtual+format.

Photo by Zach Bukowski

The Democratic National Convention was moved from its original location of Fiserv Forum to the Wisconsin Center. The convention was also moved to an almost entirely virtual format.

Milwaukee is quiet.

An occasional passerby walks past Fiserv Forum, peering into the closed of concourse. Restaurants space out their patrons, already a limited number. Conversations are hidden behind masks. People stay inside.

The Wisconsin Center, a convention and an exhibition center down the street from Marquette University, sits idle with large metal fences surrounding its perimeter.

Milwaukee, the city expected to host the 2020 Democratic National Convention, is quiet.

Once set to be the nation’s center stage and welcome more than 50,000 guests at Fiserv Forum, the Brew City is empty as people are asked to stay at home and self quarantine to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The DNC was set to take place July 13-16, but with no improvement in COVID-19 cases slowing down, the historic event was pushed to August and downsized to the Wisconsin Center.

Yet as August approached, the event further transforms to an online event. State delegates are instructed not to travel to Milwaukee, casting their votes remotely. Hours of live television coverage has been decreased lessened.

Former Vice President Joe Biden accepts the Democratic presidential nomination in his home in Delaware. He was to travel to Milwaukee in August, but decided against. Speeches are made by the likes of Gov. Tony Evers, former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, along with Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Hilary Clinton and Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris.

As the event turns to virtual and attracts viewers across the globe, bars, restaurants, the Deer District, Fiserv Forum, the Wisconsin Center and the Summerfest grounds are all reminiscent of what was to be of the DNC.

This story was written by Benjamin Wells. He can be reached at benjamin.wells@marquette.edu.