DNC rolls out contracts to stage blockbuster convention; subcontractor summits coming soon

To prepare for thousands of delegates attending the Democratic National Convention in Chicago this summer, party officials recently hired several firms to assist with logistics and construction.

Organizers have promised the August event, which will be staged at McCormick Place and the United Center, will give the region an economic boost.

The latest hires include several Chicago-area firms.

To transform the United Center into the setting for President Joe Biden’s nomination, the DNC and Chicago 2024 Host Committee selected McHugh-Powers as construction manager.

The business is a joint venture between McHugh Construction and Powers & Sons Construction Company, both located in Chicago.

McHugh-Powers will manage all physical remodeling at McCormick Place, overseeing construction and event safety codes. They previously have worked on projects involving the future Obama Presidential Library and the University of Chicago.

McCormick Place will accommodate delegates for meetings, briefings and party business during the day. Prime-time speeches and official proceedings will be at the United Center in the evenings.

As event architect, organizers chose Kansas City-based Populous, a firm that has managed five previous DNCs and 41 Super Bowls.

Chicago’s Show Strategy, a Black-owned firm, was hired as exposition services provider and has coordinated numerous events at Navy Pier and McCormick Place, among other locations.

Maryland-based Hargrove, along with Show Strategy, will serve as the DNC event manager.

The contracts were bid competitively, officials said, and firms were evaluated on experience, cost, reliability, relationship to the Chicago area and how unions, women, minorities, and people with disabilities would be involved.

The DNC and Chicago 2024 Host Committee plan to hold a number of vendor summits to explain subcontracting jobs in the near future “to ensure local businesses benefit from the economic activity of this major event.”

Meanwhile, the convention is expected to fill thousands of local hotel rooms. The Marriott Marquis Chicago and Hyatt Regency at McCormick Place — both connected to the convention center — are official DNC headquarter hotels.

Eight hotels in downtown Chicago will accommodate state delegations.

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