When is the Convention? When do we expect Convention attendees to arrive and leave?
The Democratic National Convention (DNC) begins Monday, July 25th, and ends Thursday evening, July 28th. Attendees will arrive as soon as Friday, July 22nd, and leave by Friday, July 29th.
Where does the Convention take place?
The Convention takes place at the Wells Fargo Center in the evening hours. The following hours are expected for the Convention events at Wells Fargo Center: Monday from 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., Tuesday from 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., Wednesday from 4:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., and Thursday from 4:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. There will be smaller caucus and council meetings during work hours at the Pennsylvania Convention Center as well.
How many people are coming to Philadelphia for the Convention?
The City expects approximately 50,000 Convention participants between delegates, media, and other attendees.
Are there any changes to trash and recycling service during the DNC? Are there any changes to municipal services, such as; court hours, jury duty, and city employee work schedules?
At this time, all city services are expected to operate as scheduled. If that changes, the information will be available here.
Can I get into the Wells Fargo Center if I am not a credentialed media member or delegate? Can anyone attend the convention?
Only those who are credentialed have access inside the Wells Fargo Center, which include media, delegates, politicians, and volunteers. However, the smaller councils and caucus meetings which take place during the day at the Pennsylvania Convention Center are open to the public.
How can I participate in the DNC?
There are a number of fun Convention-related events happening around town for the public, even if you’re not interested in politics. For more information and a list of events, go to phldnc.com.
Will police and fire services be affected in my neighborhood due to re-assignment of first-responders?
Philadelphia Police, Philadelphia Fire and EMS services will not be impacted by the DNC.
Will highways or streets be closed during the DNC? Will it be difficult for people to get around?
Because of the concentration of activity in Center City during the day, we encourage all residents and visitors to take public transit instead of driving, if you’re able.
There are no extended road or highway closures in Center City and other areas outside of the Stadium District. There will be rolling closures due to dignitary movements and demonstrations.
Before you leave the house, we encourage you to check @PhiladelphiaGov for any traffic news.
There will be traffic restrictions around the Stadium District. You can find more information on restrictions here.
Additional service along the Broad Street Line (BSL) will be added during the convention.
Will there be parking restrictions?
To ensure the safety of demonstrators, as well as the police officers who will be protecting them, the City will be enforcing the ban on median parking on South Broad Street between Washington and Packer Avenues. Enforcement will begin the morning of Sunday, July 24, and continue through end of day on July 29. Curbside parking will still be allowed.
From 7th Street to Broad Street and from Oregon Avenue to Pollock Street there will be no parking except for vehicles with Stadium District permits. Enforcement will occur Monday, July 25 through Thursday, July 28 from 2:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. All other vehicles will be ticketed and towed.
There will be some additional short-term parking restrictions, though we do not expect it to be nearly as extensive as last year’s Papal Visit. Before the weekend of July 23, and throughout the week of the DNC, please be sure to check the street signs near where you normally park each day to ensure there are no temporary parking restrictions.
Residents whose cars are towed should call (215) 686-SNOW to locate their vehicle.
Will any SEPTA routes change during the DNC?
Additional service along the Broad Street Line (BSL) will be added during the convention. Travelers should expect crowds on public transit similar to sporting events when Convention programming begins and ends. The following session hours are expected at Wells Fargo Center: Monday from 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., Tuesday from 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., Wednesday from 4:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., and Thursday from 4:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Will the SEPTA regional rail delays and service changes have an adverse impact on the Convention?
We do not expect it to have a serious impact. Delegates will largely be traveling by secure bus.
How can the public be aware if large demonstrations are going to affect them?
Planned permitted demonstrations that impact traffic or require road closures will be included on the City website road closure page, and updates provided via social media. For more information visit our site and follow @PhiladelphiaGov.
Demonstrations that deviate from the planned route or do not attain a permit will be updated via social media. Follow @PhillyPolice and @PhiladelphiaGov.
Will demonstrations be permitted in Center City during rush hour?
The City will work with demonstrators to minimize disruptions to residents and businesses, but it is likely that demonstrations will occur in Center City during rush hour.
How many demonstrators are you expecting and where will they be?
We expect 35-50,000 demonstrators per day all across the City. We expect most demonstrations to occur at FDR Park, Marconi Plaza, Independence Mall, and the plazas outside City Hall and the Municipal Service Building. There will also be marches down Broad Street and Market Street. A list of permitted protests is available here.
Will it be difficult to go out during the Convention? Will restaurants have available seating?
Because the Convention historically takes place in the evening, Center City and other area dining destinations should have open tables, especially during dinner hours, should you want to take advantage of them.
What if I have questions that aren’t answered here?
We encourage you to visit our website. If your questions aren’t answered there, you can always call 3-1-1 for non-emergencies. The week of the Convention, 311 will be open on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and have extended hours Monday – Thursday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
How can I stay up to date on events that are happening or any changes during the week of the Convention?
You can sign up for ReadyPhiladelphia alerts, the city’s mass notification system. During the week of the Convention, a Daily Digest will be sent that includes weather info, traffic updates, public safety info, and that highlights public events.
Frequently Asked Questions About Demonstrating During the Convention
How can my group apply for a demonstration permit?
An application is available here. Please submit the permit 5 days in advance of the demonstration.
I’ve heard that I won’t be arrested for the sole reason that I don’t have a permit, so why should I get one?
Many groups are interested in demonstrating in the same areas at the same time. Obtaining a permit helps ensure your demonstration will not be interrupted by another group. It also allows the City to have the necessary medical and public safety resources on hand to keep the members of your demonstration safe. Additionally, it allows ambulances and other public safety vehicles the opportunity to plan ahead so that road closures or other traffic restrictions due to your demonstration do not impede them from getting to a resident in need of help.
Will the City allow camping?
No permits will be issued for camping. If you do camp, you will be respectfully asked to relocate. There are several camping grounds located close to Philadelphia in Southern New Jersey. More information is available here.
Will there be access to bathrooms, food and water at FDR Park?
Frequently Asked Questions About Conducting Business During the Convention
Where will Convention delegates be spending their time?
Most delegates will spend breakfast hours at their hotel for state delegate meetings. Many delegates will then travel to the Convention Center in Center City for various caucuses during the work day. All delegates will then travel to the Wells Fargo Center for the Convention for the evening. Following the Convention, delegates will be bused to Center City and/or their hotels. We expect many delegates to remain in close proximity to their accommodations however it is likely some will travel to local restaurants and bars.
Should I expect a rush from Convention business?
The Pennsylvania Convention Center and the City host events of similar size as the DNC often, so businesses in Center City should expect similar traffic.
Restaurant owners should note that most delegates will eat at their hotels during breakfast meetings and all delegates will be at the Wells Fargo Center Monday through Friday during dinner hours. Many delegates will also be provided lunch during caucuses at the Convention Center. Some delegates may seek out late-night bites following the Convention proceedings, which have traditionally concluded at 11p.m.
While delegates will be busy during mealtimes, thousands of members of the media will be coming to town and many delegates are traveling with family or other attendees. We also expect many attendees to arrive the weekend prior to the event before the Convention, lunch time caucuses, and breakfast meetings formally begin. Additionally, we expect a close-to-normal number of local customers during the week of the Convention.
Businesses can be a part of the Convention by using the hashtag #DNCDeals on social media accounts to spread the word about deals and activities they’re offering during the Convention. Learn more about this initiative.
Do we have to cease outdoor dining?
Permitted outdoor cafes should continue to operate, but we do ask that you keep strictly within the limits of the permit. Unpermitted cafes will not be allowed.
Since the state legislature passed a bill allowing for the sale of liquor after 2AM, do I have to obtain a permit to sell liquor at my restaurant or bar during those extended hours?
Yes, and there will be only a few, select permits granted. The application process is now closed.
How can businesses prepare for non-permitted protests?
Information about demonstrations that deviate from the planned route or do not attain a permit will be updated via social media. Follow @PhillyPolice and @PhiladelphiaGov.
We are also asking businesses to bring inside signs, flags, tables, flower pots or any other non-fixed objects your normally keep outside of your business
The City is asking that businesses take extra steps to secure all commercial dumpsters during the Convention to avoid misappropriation by demonstrators