Atlanta City Council preps for possibility of hosting Democratic National Convention

Atlanta is one of three finalists to host the political showcase in 2024.
Atlanta is one of four finalist cities competing to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention. (File photo)

Credit: File photo.

Credit: File photo.

Atlanta is one of four finalist cities competing to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention. (File photo)

Atlanta City Council took steps on Monday to prepare for the possibility that the city will host the 2024 Democratic National Convention.

Members passed a resolution allowing the mayor to enter into agreements and contracts with convention organizers — Choose Atlanta 2024, the nonprofit host committee, and the Democratic National Convention Committee — if Atlanta is selected to hold the massive political showcase.

It also allows the Dickens administration to enter into agreements with local agencies such as the Atlanta-Fulton Recreation Authority and MARTA to finance the cost of organizing and procuring transportation for the convention.

The resolution authorizes the use of excess hotel-motel tax collections as a funding source, with the requirement that it is paid back.

“The City Council hereby expresses its appreciation to the DNC for short-listing Atlanta as a host city for the Convention, and gives its full support to bringing this marquee cultural and political event to the City,” the resolution reads.

Atlanta is a finalist for the marquee event, along with Chicago and New York City.

Political pundits suspect a decision from the White House is imminent. When Council Member Marci Collier Overstreet introduced the resolution for immediate consideration, she told her colleagues the legislation is “time sensitive.”

It passed unanimously and was sent directly to the mayor’s office.

“Go DNC, baby!” Council Member Antonio Lewis shouted during the vote.

In August of last year, council members OK’d $500,000 in city funds to go to the host committee’s bid preparations in support of federal Democrats’ consideration of Atlanta as the 2024 convention host.

If Atlanta is chosen, nearly 5,000 delegates and upwards of 50,000 people would descend on the city for four days of political festivities.

City officials are already solidifying plans to host tens of thousands of people in downtown Atlanta next summer, if the city is chosen to host for the first time in more than three decades. The DNC was hosted by Atlanta only once before, in 1988.

The main convention would take place in State Farm Arena and utilize surrounding event spaces at the Georgia World Congress Center, Centennial Olympic Park, Mercedes Benz Stadium, the CNN Center and College Football Hall of Fame.

The Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau has already secured about 15,000 rooms across nearly 70 hotels in downtown, Midtown and Buckhead for the week-long event.

City leaders are arguing Atlanta’s political case to be host city has become even stronger than in 1988, after big Democrat wins in the past few election cycles.