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. NotFallingInLine.org

    Hey CNN. Will you be covering the crowds who will be protesting the failed leaders of the undemocratic Democratic Party for the way they tossed out our core democratic principles with the trash in order to hand their selectee the nomination of our party and protesting the sleazy tactics of the Obama campaign during the nomination process? They will be in Denver for the convention in the thousands too!

    July 7, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  2. Obamination Chronicles

    This man is creating a cult of personality to do his bidding, not that of the country. He despises the country. Look at how he flip flops constantly on majory issues, pitting all sides against each other while he picks up the pieces of the broken empire he created. He'll be the savior. Look around for historical precidents. They abound folks. The visuals of this outdoor spectacle bring to mind one particular era of the 20th Century: Facism

    July 7, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  3. Broad street buddy

    Power to the People!!!!

    Keep hope alive, as well as the constitution. Vvote no on FISA.

    GOBAMA

    July 7, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  4. webster208

    Why does this story remind me of the Pied Piper of Hamlin?

    July 7, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  5. hb

    Who cares

    July 7, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  6. An Independent Hillary

    Barack's a rock star! Let's see McCain try to rock out 75,000 peeps.

    July 7, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  7. Jeffrey Beall

    Let's hope he has more success in that stadium than the Broncos do.

    July 7, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  8. GM

    Strikes me as a bit elitest and arrogant. And I'm trying to be a supporter. But, whatever...

    July 7, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  9. wycliffe, NJ

    my family in colorado plans to attend to show support.

    good move.

    obama 08

    July 7, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  10. Jackson

    I support Obama but hope he's not getting in over his head here. Anything less than a sell-out crowd is going to be criticized by the republicans as him receiving payback for being pompous and overly confident.

    July 7, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  11. Jo Ann

    i AM GLAD THIS WILL GIVE MORE PEOPLE A CHANCE TO ATTEND. tHIS IS TRULY FOR THE PEOPLE. SINCE I AM NOT A DELEGATE I CAN BE A PART OF THIS HISTORY MAKING EVENT.

    July 7, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  12. Patrick Henry, Fort Myers

    Well...if they President gig doesn't work out....
    He could always be a opener for the Rolling Stones–he can really pack the arena!! Especially when the tickets are free-and he's offering so much more for free (unless you're the unlucky professional or small business person who will be footing the tax burden for his idealistic agenda and theoretical foreign policy, human services, and economic programs).

    July 7, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  13. Bdiddy from Chicago

    I think he really GET'S IT now himself. The magnitude of his candidacy and what it means for this country is unprecedented. The entire country is at a place historically it's never been before. An African American who embraces his ethnicity and looks America right in the eye and challenges us all to do the same. Not with disdain but with hope and respect and the attitude that Yes We Can.

    I'm just thankful to be alive to even have this conversation about Barack Obama being in a position to plan to accept the Nomination. History is at our doorstep America.

    July 7, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  14. chelle

    All hail King Obama. Im not sure the stadium is big enough for his followers or his ego, give me a break.

    July 7, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  15. Steve from San Francisco

    Obama better call up the Decembrists to open again.

    Obama's 2 huge crowds are just him turning up at large events where the crowd is young, stoned and friendly.

    Then CNN reports that he's very popular. Again. and Again. and Again.

    CNN should send the Obama campaign a bill.

    July 7, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  16. tai

    OBAMA OBAMA!!!!! Please squash that mccain and his republican hencemans for good.

    July 7, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  17. crazy bastages

    AHHHHH EGOS AT THEIR FINEST. GOTTA DO IT BIG.

    July 7, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  18. Cheryl L. Swaim

    That's nauseating. It reminds me of the hordes who supported the Ayotollah Khomenei. Have you red "Reading Lolita in Iran.?

    July 7, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  19. Tony

    It had better be one hell of a speech! (And for God's sake, don't let Michelle speak). He will look like a fool if he doesn't fill the stadium. Would hate to see everyone from the higher tiers asked to come sit down front to fill all of the empty seats sop it looks good on cam.

    July 7, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  20. Chris, San Diego

    Take note republicans – this is what it looks like when your party has failed so miserably. The likes of Dick Cheney, GW, Karl Rove, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld and all the other hate mongering, racist, biggoted, small minded corporate slaves YOU stood behind have broken the back of our military, sank the economy, caused irreparable damage to our environment and pissed off every nation on the plant. Still consider yourself a republican? What does it take for you to realize your party has nothing this nation needs.

    Take note Dem's, yes Clinton left us with a budget surplus and friends around the world which comparatively speaking is much more than any republican has ever done however your future is not cast in stone either – pay attention. We are watching all of you closely!!

    July 7, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  21. Jim

    I am sorry to hear, read this. Size matters, so it seems!! I am, and remain, an Obama supporter. However, I am concerned about the move toward the dramatic and the right.
    However, if moving it to the football stadium will get him elected in the fall then I am for it.

    July 7, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  22. mark

    Enough of the show and hype already. This is nothing more than a political show and trying to grandstand. Conventions are really about tradition, and for decades the acceptance speech has been a highlight for those in attendance at the convention center and on television. Inviting others to a stadium is a political move intended to show off and use his charisma to further manipulate voters into believing he deserves to be president. Obama is all about show, and will do anything to get elected. No other presidential candidate has ever moved away from tradition as much as he has. Some things are better left alone – and this is one of them.

    July 7, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  23. HSNP

    Grandstanding at it's finest!!

    July 7, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  24. Shane

    I THOUGHT THE DNC WAS CASH STRAPPED?

    July 7, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  25. Abraham

    "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."

    ARE WE LOOKING FOR THE NEXT PRESIDENT? OR THE NEXT AMERICAN IDOL? I PRAY FOR OUR COUNTRY AND WORLD'S FUTURE : * * (

    July 7, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
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