July 7th, 2008
01:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama picks 75,000-seat stadium for convention speech

Obama will accept his party's nomination at Invesco field, home of the Denver Broncos.

Obama will accept his party's nomination at Invesco field, home of the Denver Broncos.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Barack Obama will give his main speech of the Democratic National Convention at a 75,000-seat stadium rather than the 20,000-seat hall where the convention is taking place, convention organizers announced Monday.

Obama will accept the Democratic nomination for president at Denver's Invesco Field at Mile High on August 28.

The move is likely to put him in front of a much larger audience than normal for a political speech, even for a presidential nominee.

Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean said Monday he did not know how much the move would add to the cost of the convention. Anita Dunn, a senior advisor to the Obama campaign, said Obama would help with fund-raising for the event.

Dean on Sunday rejected a newspaper report that the convention was over budget and facing "upwardly spiraling costs."

He issued a statement in which he said "that is false" five times in response to five claims in a New York Times article about convention planning, and he insisted again on Monday that convention planning is on track.

The party officially started preparing on Monday for the Pepsi Center to host the event, which runs August 25-28.

Convention organizers portrayed the move to Invesco Field as a reflection of Obama's success at encouraging people to vote for the first time.

"Barack Obama's campaign for change has inspired millions of Americans and brought people into the political process who might never have been involved," said the convention's co-chair, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. "This change in the convention program will allow thousands of first-time participants a chance to take part."

Obama's largest event to date was in Portland, Oregon, in May, where he drew a crowd of approximately 75,000. He has done at least one previous stadium event, a joint appearance with talk show host Oprah Winfrey at Williams-Brice Stadium in South Carolina that drew about 29,000 people.

John F. Kennedy accepted the Democratic nomination for president in 1960 at Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, a 92,500-seat stadium in which an estimated 80,000 people gathered for his speech.

(Updated Monday afternoon with additional information)

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (317 Responses)
  1. Vickie, Maryland

    I wish I could attend.....I would love to be there.....HISTORY is going to be made!

    July 7, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  2. Phil Newton, Murphy, OREGON

    That's right! Oregon set the bar! Try to break our record, Denver!

    OBAMA '08

    July 7, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  3. Can I get my comments posted this time?

    Why have two venues? Why not have the whole convention in the stadium?

    July 7, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  4. Judgement over Experience

    He will need a venue that large because of the crowds he attracts. BTW does anyone know what mccain stands for? I mean I know his campaign strategy consists solely of attacking Obama and it's all like trivial stuff but does he have any plans on how he will run this country? Or has he even thought that far?

    July 7, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  5. Kjetil Holmsen

    I think this is great. That more people can see this historic momement.

    How many will see John McCain? 10.000? (is there that many active GOP members left in US this year?).

    July 7, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  6. Judy in PA - Won't need to be bitter much longer

    I'll be right there. Can't wait.
    Finally a President with vision, intelligence and leadership. It's about time.

    Obama & Clark 08, 12

    July 7, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  7. proud army and navy mom

    sounds like fun, wish i could be there....

    July 7, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  8. Sen.John McCain't!

    imagine being in one of those seats at that time!!!!!

    July 7, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  9. Used to be a Dem

    All bow & pray to the Messiah! The audacity of this man is beyond belief.

    July 7, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  10. really? come on

    I bet the republicans will complain about this and call it flip-flopping. Hey repubs...if you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

    July 7, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  11. BlahBlahBlahOblama

    No surprise. He needs that much real estate to disippate all the hot air he's guaranteed to spew.


    July 7, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  12. Cynthia

    I think it is great that he chose a larger venue for this in order for more people who want to attend to be able to do so.

    July 7, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  13. shawn - ga

    This guy loves the sound of his voice.... Rock star yes, president... nope

    July 7, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  14. HARRY


    I just don't have a good feeling about this guy.

    July 7, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  15. eric

    It's only a matter of time before the Obamaphobs show up decrying Obama's ability to draws tens of thousands to a political speech and witness history in the making. They'll say all it shows is Obama's ego, when in actuality it shows he has learned from his prior experiences and is being realistic about what to expect. In truth, these whiny poor, uneducated, angry adults are just jealous their candidate can't do the same as Obama.

    July 7, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  16. ERICA, Ohio


    July 7, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  17. Abe Schenck

    So what.

    July 7, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  18. JC in NJ

    Obama will need a bigger auditorium!

    July 7, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  19. katiec

    Good for him. The more people who are able to see and listen to him, the more votes he will get.
    Now, if the media, AP will start reporting fairly (as is goal they
    should have but don't) we will actually get to hear about policies
    rather than sensationalizing, distortions and bias.
    The American people are so tired of of their irresponsible

    July 7, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  20. Georgia for Obama

    I love it.

    Obama 08

    July 7, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  21. Casey

    VOTE MCCAIN!!!!!

    July 7, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  22. Hillary ONLY 08

    Wow! No surprise here! It;s all about "Obama"!!!! He is so full of his own importance and once again, it;s all about "showmanship". He could walk on water and he still would NOT get my vote!!!

    July 7, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  23. Tran

    Obama is a flip-flopper and it was proven loudly and clearly by his actions. In 2002 when he ran for his current seat in the senate, he proclaimed he would not seek higher office in 2008. Well we now know what his CHANGE messages really meant he can change his mind regardless of what he had said. Obama did not wear a flag pin on his lapel, he claimed he was patriotic, no need to show it. However late May 2008, when he met the veterans, without shame he did wear one to appease the veterans for votes. Well Obama supporters may say these facts are minor. Maybe so, but minor facts define his characters or lack of. Needless to say, his actions show he would say and do anything to get elected. He has been singing praises of HRC under party unity disguise, the naked truth is again without shame he appeased her supporters for votes.
    During the primaries, he often criticized his opponent's judgement. He himself admitted bad judgement in Rezko's land deal. Using his good judgement, he also spent almost 20 years as a member of Rev. Wright's church. The same Rev. who spewed hatred in his fiery sermons, the same Rev. who is Obama's spiritual advisor, close family friend and godfather to his children. Finally he had to leave the church and denounced the good Rev. because Dems nomination is far more precious than his friendship with Wright. Obama has been blowing smoke, advertising himself as a different kind of politician, however his actions speak otherwise, just another slick politician who would say and do anything to get elected, even throwing his own grandmother under the bus to justify his not denouncing Wright at first.
    Obama seized the nation's pulse and singing CHANGE like a parrot; judging from his words and actions, it is not likely those CHANGES will happen.

    July 7, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  24. Obama or Bust


    The percentage of voters who refuse to support Obama because Clinton will not be his VP are by far outnumbered by the new voters Obama's campaign has helped get registered. All the new voters will give Obama the edge this fall. In many states, there are hundreds of thousands of new Democrats. Some of those were Clinton supporters, but most were (and still are) for Obama.

    This stadium will be full. The lines to vote in November will be long. Nothing can stop this now...Obama will be our next President.

    July 7, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  25. Moe, NY

    Good for Obama...I hope the stadium is filled to capacity. Go Obama! On the other hand, I think McSame should just rent a small hall somewhere and sincerely hope there are a lot of empty seats which would be appropriate, in my opinion, as McSame is an empty suit.

    July 7, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
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