Houston picked to host Republican National Convention in 2028

The city last hosted the RNC in 1992. Houston beat fellow finalists Miami and Nashville in its bid to host the event in 2028.


Michael Heckman Houston RNC
Houston First Corporation
Houston First Corporation president and CEO Michael Heckman speaks about Houston being selected to host the 2028 Republican National Convention during a news conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Friday, Aug. 25, 2023.

Houston was selected Friday as the host city for the Republican National Convention in 2028.

The convention is expected to bring about 50,000 visitors to the Space City and have an economic impact to the region of about $2 million, according to the Houston First Corporation, a local government corporation that manages city-owned properties and serves as the city's sales and marketing arm.

Houston, which last hosted the RNC in 1992, beat out fellow finalists Miami and Nashville in its bid to host the event in 2028.

"We believe Houston represents the future of the United States," Houston First president and CEO Michael Heckman said during the announcement ceremony in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. "We're excited to show off our attributes and hospitality. We do it every day and look forward to doing it again in 2028."

Along with hosting the RNC in 1992 at the Astrodome, Houston hosted the Democratic National Convention in 1928. The city submitted a bid to host the Democratic convention in 2024, but lost out to Chicago.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, a Democrat, played a significant role in helping Houston land the Republican convention in 2028, RNC chair Ronna McDaniel said during Friday's announcement.

Ira Mitzner, the chair of Houston's bid committee, promised the city will provide an "extraordinary" experience and "create a new model for what a national convention means for the party, for the city and for the whole country."

"The RNC was blown away when we came to Houston," McDaniel said. "We were blown away from start to finish. It was one of the best bids I've ever seen from any city for any convention."

Houston RNC 2028 Announcement
Houston First Corporation
The Republican National Convention named Houston as the host city for its 2028 event during a news conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Friday, Aug. 25, 2023.

As part of its selection as the host city, Houston will receive a federal grant of approximately $80 million to pay for security and other services necessary to host the event, according to a framework agreement that was approved earlier this month by the Houston City Council.

Robert Gallegos, who is running to succeed the term-limited Turner as mayor, was the lone council member to vote against approving the agreement, saying he does not support the Republican party's stances on issues such as immigration. Council member Abbie Kamin also expressed opposition to hosting the event, although she was not present at the council meeting and did not vote.

"As the most diverse city in the nation, what we don't want is to showcase the bigotry and hateful speeches on city property during the RNC in 2028," Gallegos said earlier this month. "We are not a sanctuary city for the divisive ideology of the RNC, nor for a gathering of those who wish to spread it, and I will not sell Houston's and our nation's personal rights and freedoms for the convention dollars."

Turner said Friday he is "elated" that Houston was selected to host the RNC because of the exposure it will bring to the city. He also said it helps boost Houston's reputation as a city well-suited for major events.

Houston hosted the NCAA Men's Final Four earlier this year and will host the College Football Playoff national championship game in January of next year. World Cup soccer games will be held in the city in 2026.

"Houston is a city of ever-increasing national prominence," said Bob Harvey, the president and CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership, which is an economic development organization. "We know that attendees to the 2028 RNC will experience everything Houston has to offer, from our incredible quality of life to the wonderful diversity of our global city. This is a major win for Houston."

Adam Zuvanich

Adam Zuvanich

Digital Content Producer

Adam Zuvanich writes locally relevant digital news stories for Houston Public Media. He grew up in the Houston area and earned a journalism degree from the University of Texas before working as a sportswriter in Austin, Lubbock, Odessa, St. Louis and San Antonio. Zuvanich returned home to Houston and made...

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