July 7th, 2008
01:00 PM ET
6 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. Hillary Backer for McCain

    Elitist ! We are voting for a President not a rock star
    This is so unfair for Hillary! She has the right to speak too!
    Such an Elistist!

    July 7, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  2. JB

    I hate to say this, but, I am not as enthralled with Obama. To move to the center like he is doing. To refuse to admit that he is changing his policies (and looking like a fool being questioned over and over again, without the ability to acknowledge his position has changed) is beginning to make me feel. . . . . . dirty.

    I am by no means saying I would like to see HRC there (in fact I never want to see her again), but the things I do not like about HRC are starting to appear in Obama. He is a politician and he is beginning to act more and more like one everyday.

    This football stadium thing is just another example. His head is too big for an indoor arena. He is like a Macy's parade day balloon.

    If he keeps it up, he will lose. There are many people like me who voted for him because he was different. If he becomes the same, I would rather have McCain in there.

    July 7, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  3. Lewis

    I will be there!!!!!!!

    July 7, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  4. Alisha(Independent voter) MN

    Doing it big in '08!

    July 7, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  5. Billy Gibbons

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

    So, just HOW will do you gauge success in encouraging first time voters who have not voted yet? The voting at political party conventions is done by political party regulars.

    July 7, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  6. Zman

    You are the MAN

    July 7, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  7. dan

    im sure the fat cats will fill the seats with party loyal. where do they get all this money?

    July 7, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  8. Marge Hibbing Mn

    Is he going to make his halo or does he think one will magically appear. And besides...HE HASN'T BEEN APPOINTED BY THE DNC YET...although they worked long and hard on it, they still can't get real Americans to endorse this butt.

    July 7, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  9. Steve

    Wow! Will Hillary speak, too? She should. I'm an Obama supporter, but it would be an even more powerful event if Hillary spoke as well.

    Where is McCain giving his acceptance speech? At the VFW hall in Jersey City? (seats 30). Maybe he could bring Lieberman with him to give a speech, too. Those two together would be so powerful it would almost awaken me from my nap.

    July 7, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  10. WoMaN4McCain

    I think its really nice that he is doing this so as many as want can come. Its disappointing to get turned away.

    July 7, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  11. David

    Obamabots are a personality cult.

    July 7, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  12. Don

    I wonder if Mile High Stadium is big enough to hold his ego?

    Or maybe it has something to do with the stupid "green convention" the Dems are having. No fried food allowed. At least at mile high folks can get a beer and hot dog.

    July 7, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  13. Obama '08

    Great plan sir! No better way than to bring as many supporters as possible in for this historic event. And I could not agree more with Can I get my comments posted this time?... Put the entire convention there! I just wish I lived there, but I will be supporting strong and loud all the way from Georgia. As an educated, white southerner who just does not fit in with the stereotypical mentality, I am BEYOND proud to cast my vote for Senator Barack Hussein Obama this year! (P.S. Saying Hussein does not scare me Reps... Try something else to scare us into McCain)

    July 7, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  14. JonPeter, Hartford, CT

    I can't be there in person but I can be part of this in spirit. This is an opportunity for Obama to reach out to others and make them a part of that history. I am hoping (and believe) HRC will add her presence and message to this historic moment, as well as other democratic leaders.

    If the different factions within the party can unify and develop a common message this will be a welcome change. let the rest of us learn, follow and contribute to change in november and beyond.

    July 7, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  15. WoMaN4McCain

    ERICA, Ohio.... Yes, there was a rock concert from a little known band that could not have drawn 75,000 people...no way, no how. You don't have to like Obama or support him but you do need to be a realist.

    July 7, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  16. Nevada Independant

    Awesome.
    How do I get a ticket?

    July 7, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  17. Kevin

    I've always thought that the money used in these conventions could go to something more positive for the community. For once, why doesn't a party stop spending money on these grandious displays to celebrate somebody in a suit and spend that money on the community?

    July 7, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  18. Bob

    I hope it rains!

    July 7, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  19. Cliff

    Or........could it be the clown wants to further feed his ego by speaking in front of a larger crowd? When is everyone going to figure he is nothing more than a sham and nothing more than rhetoric and snake oil salesmanship? Will there be fist bumps and high fives for everyone? Will he announce he's going against Pelosi, Reid and the rest of the idiot liberal democrats and put a realistic exploration, drilling and expansion program in place for the country's energy interests? I doubt it.

    July 7, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  20. Amanda M - Chicago, IL

    I kinda wish i could be there

    July 7, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  21. George

    Even though some voters dont like Obama, they will get the universal healthcare, affordable college education and peace and security in America. I have no doubt about this guy.

    July 7, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  22. Chris H

    Once Obama and his monstrous ego are in the stadium, there won't be room for anyone else.

    July 7, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  23. False Messiah

    Phew!!! Another overblown hype cycle of this dude who does not have a single legislation he authored worth any mentioning. I am getting tired of this Rock Star who cannot sing. He reminds me of Sanjaya of American Idol, last year. Just like they say in Texas, All Hats and No Cattle.

    Judgment over Experience, McCain-FeinGold, McCain-Kennedy and there is a body of work from McCain. McCain served his country honorably when Obama was doing Coke.

    July 7, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  24. HA

    Pride goes before the fall.

    July 7, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  25. awesome

    Crowds will come, I think it was a great move. He is truly for the people. Yes he has to move to the center on issues but his goal is still the same. Dems hang tough we will win in Nov. and a change will come.
    YES WE CAN! Obama08

    July 7, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13