Experience Downtown Blog

Planning for the RNC: Tips for Getting Around Downtown

July 3, 2024 /   milwaukee skyline

Milwaukee’s big moment to shine as an epicenter for arts, culture, entertainment and sports is almost here!

The Republican National Convention will bring tens of thousands of delegates, media members, law enforcement officers, staff, volunteers and other visitors to our city July 15 – 18.

To prepare for the influx of guests and the national media attention, below are some tips and talking points to share with employees and guests.

Logistical Info:
  • The RNC will be held in the heart of downtown at Fiserv Forum and Wisconsin Center District, Milwaukee’s convention center campus with three unique facilities – Baird Center, UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena and the Miller High Life Theatre.
  • rnc perimeterThe United States Secret Service has released a comprehensive public impact map of the area affected by the operational security plan. The security perimeters are outlined in the public security map. All perimeter restrictions for the areas around Henry Maier Festival Park will begin on Sunday, July 14 at 5 a.m. For the areas near downtown Milwaukee, restrictions for the Vehicle Screening Perimeter (yellow) will begin on Monday, July 15 at 2 a.m. Restrictions for the Pedestrian Restricted Perimeter (red) will begin on Sunday, July 14 at 6 p.m.

  • The Vehicle Screening Perimeter (yellow) will be generally accessible to everyone. Pedestrians and bicyclists will be able to freely enter the Vehicle Screening Perimeter, while vehicles must enter through a vehicle screening point, which are marked as black circles on the map. Rideshares, taxis, and hot food delivery can continue as usual, drivers will just need to enter through the marked vehicle screening points.
  • The Pedestrian Restricted Perimeter (red) is restricted to individuals with a documented need to enter, such as credentialed convention attendees and volunteers. Pedestrians must enter through a pedestrian checkpoint and will be subject to screening by security. Those pedestrian checkpoints will be outlined on an attendee-specific map distributed to convention attendees and other credentialed individuals.
  • All pedestrian checkpoints will be open 24/7 and ADA accessible. Personal vehicles, taxis, and hot food delivery will generally not be permitted to enter the Pedestrian Restricted Perimeter. Instead, convention attendees are asked to use the designated drop-off points, which will be marked on their attendee map.
  • rnc parking restrictionsSome streets in Downtown Milwaukee will be closed from approximately Sunday, July 14 from 8 p.m. to Friday, July 19 at 1 a.m. (times are approximate and subject to change). A list of street closures is available here.
  • A map of restricted parking areas is available here. Please note, this is subject to change.
  • Please note that city buses will be diverted from their usual routes during the RNC. We recommend visiting Milwaukee County Transit System's website for any changes to bus routes and schedules.
  • speakers podium mapInformation on the speakers' platform and parade route can be found here. Parade start times will be staggered approximately 20 minutes apart, with time slots assigned between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. each day of the RNC.

  • The convention will take place in the evening hours. While the final schedule has not been released, traditionally, the hours have been from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. each day. Delegate breakfasts, smaller caucuses and council meetings will occur during work hours at the Wisconsin Center District campus, area delegate hotels, and various private event locations. Meanwhile, Convention Fest, an expo consisting of products and activities that highlight our local culture and businesses, will take place daily from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. inside the secured Convention Complex perimeter.
  • A list of Downtown restaurants and bars that will be open during the convention is available at milwaukeedowntown.com. Operating hours are also posted.

Key Tips:
  • This is an opportunity to represent our city and support our Downtown businesses. Consider shopping, dining, attending work in-person, and participating in after-work functions during the convention.
  • All eyes and ears will be on Milwaukee. Please join us in representing our city with pride and showing our visitors that Milwaukeeans are courteous, kind and gracious. Your interaction could singlehandedly set the tone for an out-of-towner’s or media representative's visit.
  • Allow yourself extra travel time if you plan to head into Downtown for work, to play or to experience the convention. Carpooling, ridesharing, utilizing public transportation, or walking to your destination may help alleviate any congestion concerns.
  • If your business sees or hears of anything suspicious, contact 911 if it is an emergency. If the situation is not an emergency, call 414-933-4444 (for police) and 414-286-8999 (for fire). Report Suspicious behavior at 877-949-2824 or wiwatch.org.
  • Steer your guests to our MKE + WI installation at Milwaukee Street and Wisconsin Avenue, as well as a portion of Water Street at Wisconsin Avenue. Now through September, Milwaukee Downtown is proud to partner with KEI, CBRE (Chase Tower), Colliers (411 East Wisconsin Center), F Street Group (Curry Pierce Building), 1574 CSR Milwaukee, LLC (Wells Building) and Kriete Truck Center to present colorful, festive floral swags on prominent entries – providing unique photo ops for guests.
  • Beyond the RNC, Downtown Milwaukee will also play host to several other large-scale events that will draw visitors both near and far. Summerfest, Bastille Days, the Harley-Davidson Homecoming Festival, Rainbow Summer: HIGHLIGHT and the Northwestern Mutual Annual Meeting are just a few of the other events sure to fill our hotels and restaurants next month. Get our digital calendar here to stay in the know of upcoming events or request a quantity of summer calendars for your guests by contacting Alyssa Simmons, asimmons@milwaukeedowntown.com.
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