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. Tom

    No matter who wins in the end, this is the right location for this historical day.

    The nomination of the first afro-american Nominee at this historic day (MLK) is a great event for the US!

    July 7, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  2. Kathy in Oregon

    Obama's rock-star sized EGO has grown too large to fit into the 20,000 seat Pepsi center. ...so now he's opting to give his acceptance speech in a football stadium. This descision tells me even more about the candidate - and it's NOT positive.

    I have a feeling that Obama's HUBRIS going to backfire in him big time...

    July 7, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  3. HRC3655

    I hope all Democrats stay home.

    July 7, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  4. Lynn

    Unbelievable. His arrogance just keeps on going. Who will pay for this? I wish everyone would quit talking about the 75,000 in Portland. People – it was a free concert. My little town draws 100 -123 thousand people to our free concerts. So I'm not impress. I read that Kerry was at the same concert in 2004 and it had 50,000. The good side of the stadium coronation will be more room for the protesters.

    July 7, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  5. Mark Dover, Delaware

    In a related story, McGiveaway will accept his nomination in China, Columbia, or Mexico.

    July 7, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  6. Richard, Wall Street

    It's really good to know that his concentration continues to be on him and not the issues that are facing America today.

    This man is continuing to make me dislike him day-by-day. Am I the only one that is seeing his lack of leadership and his commitment to his ego?

    U.S.A. '08 not Ego '08

    July 7, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  7. Oh Happy Day

    I love it. I already have my reservation in Denver, but I didn't know whether or not I would be able to go the convention. Now I know–whoopeeee!

    I will have a front row seat in history.

    Obama 08

    July 7, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  8. WML

    figures. he needs a place as big as his head has become!

    July 7, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  9. Beca

    Showing off, to make a big impression?

    July 7, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  10. Joe B

    Why go to a 75,000 seat facility when you won't draw more than 20,000 anyway?

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

    Ok, I'm already bracing myself for people saying that he is arrogant for this move...

    Of course I disagree, but on this message board, it's always the same thing,,,

    July 7, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  12. Brian

    Let's not forget that when he drew 75,000 in Oregon earlier this year there was also a FREE Decemberists (among other groups) concert opening for his speech.

    July 7, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  13. KJ, GA

    This is no surprise, and it'll be agreat event. McCain couldn't handle a crowd that large , he's just not a good enough speaker. But Obama is a talented speaker and inspirational figure, so it will certainly be interesting, can't wait...


    July 7, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  14. Sam

    He is so in love with himself it's disgusting to watch.
    I hope he chokes in his own empty words.


    July 7, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  15. tell the truth

    This will be sold out.

    July 7, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  16. Matt-NE

    The Audacity of Hype.

    What an arrogant fool.

    July 7, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  17. TK

    BO is so full of himself it's disgusting.

    July 7, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  18. Alicia

    Wow, paint me red, white and blue and sign me up-I love it. I'll be there.

    July 7, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  19. Packaging

    One can only hope that people will eventually see that Obama is a shameless political chameleon pushed to the forefront of the pack simply because he could be packaged by George Soros to look like a clone of President Kennedy.

    But this is a pathetic game of appearances, and Obama is certainly no patriot such as John F. Kennedy was. I didn't care for a lot of what Kennedy represented at the time, but he was a tolerable president, even good in some ways. With Obama we would have something else entirely.

    There is no choice. We must vote for the "Democrat "John McCain. As with Kennedy, McCain would be tolerable.

    July 7, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  20. Timber

    How arrogant can you get?! What next, his face on the dollar bill? a stamp in his honor? How about sainthood, he has enough money to buy that too. It would dispell rumors about him being a muslim too!
    What a phoney! Smoke and mirrors ladies and gentlemen.

    July 7, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  21. Glen,


    July 7, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  22. Beth

    Our next president of the US is starting off with a bang. We are going to have a great convention. What a wonderful way to include the people. It's a wonderful time to show the world that we are resolved to make a difference in this country.

    Thanks Iowa for getting the ball rolling.

    Obama 08

    July 7, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  23. Benjamin

    I think Obama's idiosyncracies are becoming more obvious.

    He changed his position on campaign finance by rejecting public funding. He sat at a seat with a symbol that highly resembles the U.S. Presidential symbol. He is starting to modify his position on Iraq. Now he changed the way the convention is operated.

    I think Obama lacks a personality developed by experience and is too inclined to changing his mind and acting based simply on how he feels at the moment.

    Albuquerque, NM

    July 7, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  24. J.Gridhouse

    I have a horrible feeling the more I see how the election process is turning into American Idol instead of a political campaign. Rather than fostering an educated electorate who votes for a candidate based upon his or her record, we are instead seeing a shift towards presenting candidates as rock stars. Forget the issues. Let's get people excited by huge venues, celebrity endorsements and performances, YouTube, and whatever new media we can invent. It's smoke and mirrors. It's a snow job. And I can't ignore my gut feeling that we'll reap the benefits in the end.

    It's so hard to feel positive about ANY of our candidates this election, when you have Obama and his patina of Hollywood fantasy on one side, and McCain the chameleon on the other.

    July 7, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  25. Deb

    I can only the imagine the reaction of the Obama-haters to this move. Let's see...what will we read? Egotistical, arrogant, head too big for the convention center, yadda, yadda, yadda.

    We do have a local ball park that seats about 6,000. Think McCain could fill that?

    July 7, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
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