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Chicago tourism officials anticipate economic boost from DNC, other events this summer

Tourism officials look forward to putting Chicago on global stage at DNC
Tourism officials look forward to putting Chicago on global stage at DNC 02:24

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Democratic National Convention is a little more than a month away—on the heels of a number of big events in Chicago this year and this summer.

While 50,000 people from across the country and the world are expected to flock to Chicago in August for the DNC at the United Center, Chicago tourism officials said that is not the number that will make the biggest difference for the city.

Rich Gamble is the interim president and chief executive officer of Choose Chicago, the city's tourism agency. He noted that the city recently hosted the James Beard Awards and the Sundance Institute x cultural event—and of course, the NASCAR Street Race this past weekend.

The DNC arrives at the United Center from Aug. 19-22.

"Choose Chicago was involved in securing the bid for the DNC and partnering with the state and the city," said Gamble.

The DNC is expected to bring about 50,000 visitors to Chicago—the size of a typical convention in the city. 

"You'll see lots of red, white and blue," Gamble said. "You'll see lots of DNC information and logos."

Meanwhile, there are more conventions soon to come.

Less than three weeks after the DNC wraps up, the International Manufacturing and Technology show will be coming to McCormick Plage. The trade show will bring 100,000-plus—about twice as many as the DNC.

The International Manufacturing and Technology Show is held in Chicago every other year, and is the largest single convention on Choose Chicago's calendar for 2024.

Chicago tourism officials gear up for DNC 02:29

But it is a specific chunk of the 50,000 DNC visitors who really set the convention apart from other events set in the city this year—such as concerts and festivals like Sueños and Lollapalooza.

"We'll have about 15,000 national and international media, so it is an opportunity to put Chicago on a global stage," Gamble said. "The international interest and the national interest and attention—that's what makes the DNC really special."

There are no solid economic impact projections yet, but there is a general idea of what to expect.

"Previous DNCs have had roughly $150 million economic impact on the whole city, so we're at least expecting that," Gamble said.

The United Center will serve as the headquarters for the DNC, but McCormick Place will host meetings throughout the convention. Hotels around the convention center are fully booked.

"What Chicago is all about—how we come together, we partner to put our best foot forward" is what tourism officials hope to showcase, said Gamble. 

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