Jan 19, 2024 - News

DNC gives sneak peek ahead of 2024 convention in Chicago

Photo of a scoreboard in a stadium

The scoreboard at the United Center. Photo: Carrie Shepherd/Axios

Democratic National Convention organizers hosted a media walkthrough Thursday at the United Center for national, local and international news outlets, giving a peek at what to expect this summer.

  • The DNC is at the UC Aug. 19-22.

What they're saying: Not much. Most of the speeches were "off the record," with DNC communications staff and volunteers giving tours of the stadium.

Zoom in: The event was to highlight the media suites, radio and TV setups and photo bullpen for the torrent of journalists expected to cover the convention.

Photo of a wall with two signs saying "press only" and "no press"
The United Center is ready. Photo: Carrie Shepherd/Axios

Here are a few other things we're expecting at the convention:

Protests

Outside the parking lot yesterday, protestors chanted "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free," while waving a Palestinian flag.

What's next: DNC officials say they'll be prepared for protests and are working with Mayor Brandon Johnson's office and CPD to designate an official "protest zone."

  • Chicago police and the Secret Service have yet to announce security perimeters and traffic detours.

"Security remains the top priority in the planning and execution of the 2024 Democratic National Convention," a DNC spokesperson said in a statement.

  • "Chicago has a long and successful track record hosting safe large-scale events, including NATO in 2012, the Democratic National Convention in 1996."

Yes, but: They conveniently left out the '68 DNC…

CTA and transportation

The DNC will provide free shuttles to and from downtown hotels and the official DNC headquarters at McCormick Place.

Reality check: A few reporters complained about their buses taking forever to get to the United Center, making them late for the walk-through.

Between the lines: Looking at you X9.

Chicago tropes

The DNC plans to remind visitors that Chicago is the "Home of the Blues."

  • Buddy Guy showed up at a media event Wednesday, and speakers were blasting the blues at the UC during the tour.

Between the lines: Who wants to tell them Chicago birthed gospel and house music, not the blues?

  • How would Frankie Knuckles go over at 10 am?
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