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. JPM

    If I could afford it, I'd be there in a flash! I envy those able to participate in this historic event!

    July 7, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  2. David

    Good for him. Now the next President needs to reprocess spent fuel rods to cut down on Nuclear Waste. Drill for oil and invest all tax revenue from oil plus some on alternative energy. We can not put all our eggs in one basket so to say. Lets see some real change. Get tough on tough issues, thats what all the people that will fill a beautiful football stadium want to see. Hope there isn't a thunderstorm.

    July 7, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  3. NotFallingInLine.org

    Now that's going to be one huge crowd!

    We've seen these crowds come out for Obama before. They just add to the perception that Obama is nothing more than a personality with a great big cult following.

    This change of venue was a big mistake for a guy who's trying to move to the center without losing his left-wing base. Isn't he trying hard to look presidential?

    He's just feeding the perception that he's a sleazy weasel with nothing to offer but flowery rhetoric and empty slogans, the perception which the Republicans are doing such a great job of creating because, well, it's based in reality.

    Obama is sleazy weasel with nothing to offer but flowery rhetoric and empty slogans.

    July 7, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  4. S Callahan

    The week of my birthday..I would love to go..how do i get tickets?

    Does this say that government can work from the little guy up?

    July 7, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  5. JIM...TX

    Wasn't sure I liked this idea at first but thinking more about it I believe its good. In keeping with his "change" theme..why not end the convention in front of as many supporters as possible. Of course the HRC folks an McSame bunch will howl about the "arrogance" of it but who cares.

    July 7, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  6. Paul

    More BS from BO. The only chance this man has of becoming president is tricking the American people into thinking he is the best qualified (not), the best candidate (not) and having these larger than life crowds in an attempt to make the nation think that 98% of the American people support him (not). More Barnum and Bailey tactics from BHO.

    July 7, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  7. Jim Shimmer

    You Rock BARACK!!!!

    He is the best... Hand down.... !!!


    July 7, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  8. Linda

    that just wonderful. my dad is taking us to see him " THE MAN OF 21FIRST CENTURY" who would miss that... b t w i am in Canada we will travel to the USA to see him... so excited i cant wait

    July 7, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  9. Matt in Georgia

    I am making arrangements to fly to Denver.

    Let's change the world.

    July 7, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  10. kris

    I think Obama's Oregon event was orchestrated to show big audience for him .So this convention will be the same. They will orchestrate/stage this event. I think McCain ought to do the same to counter this make-believe event.

    July 7, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  11. xddy4u

    "Happy Days Are Here Again". We are ready to dance in the streets. Go Obama Go !!!!!! Bring the Bacon Home !!!!!

    July 7, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  12. Domera

    Why is President Bush so concerned about what is going on in other countries, instead of America?

    July 7, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  13. Susan

    I think enthusiasm is all well and good... but I get the impression we are electing a rock star for President instead of someone who is really qualified and serious about "helping" our country get back up on its feet. To me Obama is like an overpaid Athlete. He is given much more attention that he deserves and when we do give him this attention we show we have our priorities mixed up on what is important and what is not. All this attention for a man who has barely been in the U.S. Senate for 4 years, he has no experience running anything remotely like a country, i.e. Govenor, but he gets all this attention like he is someone who is going to make everything alright just because he promises "hope". Hope is wonderful. I believe in hope. Without it we have nothing. However, hope does not get the bills paid. We need real solutions, and so far I have heard nothing credible from that man's mouth regarding "real" solutions to important issues. I'm sorry he doesn't impress me in the way I need to be impressed to vote for someone to lead our country. I'm afraid I may end up sitting this election out if someone doesn't soon show me the "beef". I want some real answers, not just political rhetoric. Obama is no different, no matter how big the stadium is that he speaks in. I think he is afraid to get too close to the audiance. That's why he prefers and does much better at speaking in that venue.

    July 7, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  14. Mike

    The real change in Obama is that his positions are now almost in lock-step with President Bush. He is more "W" than "W".

    July 7, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  15. Jay, Obamacan

    Filling a stadium doesn’t win elections but its sure puts the fear of God in the other candidate and even more IF there are another $75,000 outside in the parking lot.

    July 7, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  16. David, Silver Spring, MD

    When the time comes, Republicans will try to paint this as a failure if there's a single empty seat in the stadium. Realistically, any venue that allows more people to participate should be preferred. So if 30,000 attend at the stadium, that's a huge improvement over the 20,000 that could attend at a convention hall.

    The problem is that a sold out convention hall leaves folks guessing just how many more would have attended if they could (50,000?, 100,000? 1,000,000?), while a half-filled stadium answers that question, and may do so in a way that's sure to fall short of some of the wildest estimates.

    July 7, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  17. paul

    Change change change.............

    I think I'm ready to run for state senate now.

    July 7, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  18. Wayne, Greenville TX

    On the other hand, Gramps McCain will be making his GOP acceptance speech at an IHOP during the Early Bird Special, so more people in his age group can hear him speak...... 🙂

    July 7, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  19. Matt in Michigan

    Awesome! 75,000 brainwashed people supporting change. Change like higher taxes, socialism and violations of our constitutional rights. Go Brack Hussein Obama, oh wait, I forgot, we are never supposed to mention his middle name.

    July 7, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  20. BeachGuy

    This is one Independent voter that won't watch him on TV or in a 75K seat stadium. He's so full of himself he's acting like one of these TV Preacher's who needs a stadium to lead his brainless flock.

    The disappointments for Obama's followers will start sooner rather than later when he fails to deliver, and fail to deliver he will.

    More of the same instead of "Change We can Believe In" (sic).

    July 7, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  21. rw md

    Talk about arrogant.
    Guess he needs more room to flip flop.
    I was going to vote for him because of Hillery but his changes
    on abortion, wire taps, public finance, gun control, and oh yes
    his big one, the Iraq war, 16 monthes, to whatever the generals
    say, Barrack who, McCain.
    Novembers cold anyway, just stay home.

    July 7, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  22. Jim

    Obama is in a league of his own. How incredible that he has turned politics into something people want to participate in so badly that they have to have the speech at a football stadium. Awesome. This is history in the making folks. Get on board and vote Obama. You can tell your kids and grandkids that you were part of the solution.

    July 7, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  23. JB

    The Bush era is finally over!

    July 7, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  24. Anonymous


    July 7, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  25. Ex-mod-GOP for Obama

    Great - Let's fill it.

    Just read the new book by Lincoln Chafee (former moderate GOP senator from RI, voted out in 2006 and now independent, who has endorsed Obama) over the holiday weekend. Recommended.

    July 7, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
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