DNC readies 'contingency plan,' watches weather for Obama acceptance speech
August 30th, 2012
06:00 AM ET
2 years ago

DNC readies 'contingency plan,' watches weather for Obama acceptance speech

Tampa, Florida (CNN) - Democratic National Convention officials have been anxiously watching the weather for next week when President Obama will deliver his convention speech from an outdoor stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, a convention official told CNN. Another source said officials have readied a "contingency plan" which would be announced "closer to the convention" should extreme weather strike.

On Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, the DNC will hold events at the indoor Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte. On Thursday, President Obama – and Vice President Biden - are slated to deliver acceptance speeches at the outdoor Bank of America Stadium. The stadium seats just over 73,000.

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Forecasts show the potential for rain and possibly thunderstorms on Thursday for Charlotte, creating the potential for the soaking of the tens of thousands of attendees and casting a cloud over the carefully-staged event.

"There's been some conversations that the forecast is already predicting storms," one convention official said.

While stressing that no decisions have been made, the official said: "Of course there's some conversations about contingency plans."

The concern highlights the weather hazards of holding a presidential nomination acceptance speech in an outdoor venue – a rare event only seen three times in U.S. history. This comes after the Republican National Convention delayed the start of its proceedings at the indoor Tampa Bay Times Forum over concerns about the tropical storm that would become Hurricane Isaac.

Another convention official confirmed the existence of a contingency plan.

"The convention proceedings at Bank of America Stadium will take place rain or shine, similar to other events at the stadium," the official said. "We have an advisory team in place that is constantly updating a contingency plan in the event of severe weather, which will be announced closer to the convention if the need arises."

When asked to outline what options that plan might include, the source said, "We will only announce contingency plans in the event that an emergency/severe weather actually arises, so that we can be sure that we communicate only one plan, the one that is accurate and relevant to the situation at hand."

"Our plans will take into account the stadium's existing weather plans that are used for Panthers games and other events," the source also said, referring to the Carolina Panthers football team headquartered at the venue.

According to Bank of America stadium, attendees to its football games and events typically stay outside when it rains. However, if there is lightning, the stadium encourages attendees to move under cover to the concession areas.

Regarding what to possibly advise delegates and guests who will attend for the president's speech, the second official said: "At the moment we are not advising anything, we are leaving that to the state party chairs to decide on what to advise their delegates."

Weather concerns are inherent in holding such an important political event in an outdoor venue – a rare event in U.S. history.

In 2008, then Sen. Obama accepted the Democratic Party presidential nomination at the outdoor Invesco Field in Denver. It was the first time a nominee delivered an outdoor convention acceptance speech in nearly 50 years.

In 1960, John F. Kennedy delivered his speech at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Before that, Franklin Roosevelt gave an outdoor acceptance speech at Franklin Field in Philadelphia.


Filed under: 2012
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Marie MD

    Hurricane Isaac should be past NC by the end of the week. It's supposed to come our way Sunday/Morning in MD.
    I feel for the people of the Gulf Coast because I have been through hurricanes and they are very dangerous and destroy too much but Isaac has taken the wind (literally) our of the sails of the tepug convention.
    It's the first news item.

    August 30, 2012 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  2. Gurgyl

    He is a smart president. GOP needs uprooted, so evil goes away.

    August 30, 2012 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  3. bear

    Rain or shine people will flock to see President Obama.

    August 30, 2012 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  4. Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    Obama acceptance speech

    Be still my heart !!!
    Another OBAMA speech...

    It's OK to lie to infidels...
    You know those non-progressives...
    The end of liberalism – justifies the means...

    FORWARD -> -> ->
    To total depravity !!!

    August 30, 2012 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  5. gurgyl

    he needs thorough security please in outdoor speech. america needs him.

    August 30, 2012 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  6. Lola

    They will be busing people in from far and wide.

    August 30, 2012 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  7. TomInRochNY

    Contingency plan for winning the election: Let the republicans keep talking.

    August 30, 2012 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  8. Wake up People!

    Be safe Mr. President, there are so many evil people that want to harm you for no other reason than your permanent tan. I will be praying for you.

    OBAMA 2012!

    August 30, 2012 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  9. FedUp

    Outdoors? During hurrican season? Who was the brilliant one that thought this up?

    August 30, 2012 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  10. Malory Archer

    FedUp

    Outdoors? During hurrican season? Who was the brilliant one that thought this up?

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    There are no hurricanes threatening to form and make it to Charlotte by next week. At 748 feet above sea level a little summer storm isn't a big deal in Charlotte. OTOH, had Issac taken a turn toward Tampa, which is only 48 feet above sea level at its highest point, the entire downtown area would have been under about 5 feet of water. Who was the brilliant one that thought THAT up?

    August 30, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  11. Malory Archer

    Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    The end of liberalism – justifies the means...

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    That sounds like a threat. For your sake I hope nobody from Homeland Security is trolling this message thread.

    August 30, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  12. lies from the right - and mostly hate

    @Free Man in the Republic of Texas –

    Be still my heart !!!
    Another Grand Obstructionist Party speech blaming Obama for their own failings...

    It's OK to lie to infidels...
    You know those non-progressives...
    The end of conservatism – justifies the means...

    FORWARD -> -> ->
    To total depravity !!!

    Yeah.. the RNC is showing the American people exactly how out of touch and clueless they are!

    August 30, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  13. Nobama

    The real trouble is Hurricane Jobs, which will hit Charlotte on the day after Obama acceptance speech: August Jobs report!

    August 30, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  14. Bill

    If it rains, our president can just part the waters.

    August 30, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  15. Ready

    I predict a bad hair day for Joe Biden!

    August 30, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  16. mlimberg

    Obama concerned about the weather? He should start with something easier... like the economy.....

    August 30, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  17. Nietodarwin

    OUR convention will feature one of OUR former President's with a %57 approval rating
    OUR convention will actually MOVE THE POLLS more in favor of our candidate.
    I usually try to write more intelligently, but I'm taking this "nanny nanny billygoat' tone for the Tea Partiers out there.

    August 30, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  18. Larry L

    This is the time to show the Republicans what a "big tent" really looks like! As Democrats come together we'll see people of all ethnic origins, incomes, religions, and cultural beliefs. We'll have small business owners, college students, senior citizens, union members, farmers, teachers, fire fighters, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines. Gay people know they are truly welcome and their rights respected. The Democratic Convention is a gathering of ALL Americans.

    August 30, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  19. MKS

    Thank you to CNN, for calling the Bank Of America Stadium by its actual name, rather than bowing to the "Panther Stadium" name that the Obama Administration is attempting to use. Democrats so often try to hide their affiliations with the super-rich.

    The Democratic Party is the party of the super-rich who have already made or inherited huge amounts of money, and the poor who want to be cared for by someone else. The Republican Party is the party of the middle class, the poor who are trying to work and save, and the diligent rich who earn much because they contribute much.

    August 30, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  20. Romney/Ryan = Bought & Paid For All Along

    @mlimberg

    Obama concerned about the weather? He should start with something easier... like the economy.....
    -----------------------------------------------------
    I've not noticed the Republicans taking any responsibility for the economy during their convention. Since Bush had eight years in office, inherited a great economy, started two wars, cut tax revenues, and issued the first bail-out package you'd think he would have been mentioned in the speeches. Over 8 million jobs were lost BEFORE President Obama even took office! Since the Republicans obstructed the recovery and blocked all actions in the Congress you'd think they'd man-up a least a bit. Since Ryan voted against the policies he criticized the President for not embracing, you'd think they'd avoid that subject. Where was President Bush anyway? I didn't see him...

    August 30, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  21. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    First the right wingnuts say that government does not create jobs. Then they promise to obstruct any of Obama's job creation programs in congress. Finally the blame the president for the republican failures of the congress. Paul Ryan voted so that our debt rating would be downgraded, and sponsored extreme legislation against women.

    August 30, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  22. Lou Reid

    I hope that the Democratic convention will open the door to adress the concerns of younger voters. Obama is focusing his attention on senior Americans as are the Republicans by offering assurances to the upper middle class, but perhaps the Democratic Convention will focus on giving hope to younger Americans.

    August 30, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  23. Malory Archer

    MKS

    Thank you to CNN, for calling the Bank Of America Stadium by its actual name, rather than bowing to the "Panther Stadium" name that the Obama Administration is attempting to use. Democrats so often try to hide their affiliations with the super-rich.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Stop trying to make an issue where there is none. The vast majority of stadiums in this nation are sponsored or outright owned by big conglomo because local governments could no longer afford to maintain them due to tax cuts that were supposed to "trickle down" the big bucks.

    I recently found my mom's property tax bill from 1977. Her home was valued at 20% less than my home is currently valued, yet her property tax bill was 40% higher than my 2011 tax bill. That probably has something to do with local governments having huge budget shortfalls or outright going bankrupt, and most likely why conglomo, inc. has their names all over those stadiums.

    August 30, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  24. Fair is Fair

    Ready

    I predict a bad hair day for Joe Biden!
    -----–
    EVERY day is a bad hair day for Joe Biden.

    August 30, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  25. Woman In California

    Looking forward to four more years Mr. President.

    North Carolina (my home town) for Obama!

    August 30, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
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