Obama's speech to move indoors
September 5th, 2012
10:05 AM ET
2 years ago

Obama's speech to move indoors

Charlotte, North Carolina (CNN) - After days of bad weather, President Barack Obama's re-election campaign and Democratic National Convention organizers have decided to change the venue of the president's acceptance speech Thursday in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Instead of holding the final night at the Bank of America stadium as planned, the event will move indoors to the Time Warner Cable arena, where the first two days of the convention have taken place.

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"We have been monitoring weather forecasts closely and several reports predict thunderstorms in the area, therefore we have decided to move Thursday's proceedings to Time Warner Cable Arena to ensure the safety and security of our delegates and convention guests," said DNCC CEO Steve Kerrigan.

Officials had already handed out 65,000 tickets for the event at the Bank of America stadium, but the Time Warner Cable Arena-home to NBA's Charlotte Bobcats-can seat up to 21,000. As a result, thousands will be turned away.

"We're disappointed they won't be able to join us in person," one organizer said. "But we are encouraging people to organize watch parties at their homes, in their neighborhoods, with their friends."

Officials added they plan to host a separate event at a later time for those who had credentialed for the stadium. They did not elaborate on when exactly that event would take place, only saying "sometime before Election Day."

Some argued this week that convention organizers had failed to fill the stadium, and moving the event to a smaller, more-packed venue would provide better optics for the president's speech

DNC officials, however, argued that decision was purely based on safety, not politics.

"We were concerned about capacity on the high end for Thursday, not on the low end," one official said, adding they had 19,000 people on the wait list for the stadium.

In an interview with a local TV station in Virginia, conducted before the venue change was announced, Obama said he's more focused on his message than capacity concerns at the DNC.

"My main goal is not to worry about the logistics of the convention," Obama said. "My main goal, I think, is to communicate to the American people how we can move forward."

CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

soundoff (183 Responses)
  1. Ganan

    What about all the people who are being bussed in so that they could fill the stadium.......what a megliomanic.

    September 5, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  2. john

    Weather.com predicts 20% chance of rain at 10pm. they can't tell the truth about anything...

    September 5, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  3. Weatherman

    The Stadium forcast for Thursday was for 60% occupancy during Obama's speech.

    September 5, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  4. Steve- Illinois

    I wonder how many college students in North Carolina will be there cheering now that they have found out the insurance they are required to carry, if not on Mommy, and Daddy's policy, will increase from $460 to $709 per semester!!!
    Welcome to the real world boys, and girls! That "free" stuff ain't free!!!!

    September 5, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  5. chrarlotte resident

    I live in the Charlotte area....This move is NOTbecause of the weather. There is only a 20% chance of rain at 10 PM at the time of the big speech. They wouldn't have filled the stadium to half capacity and probably won't fill the Time Warner arena either. This move is to save the campaign severe embarrassment as things continue to look dim for team Obama.

    September 5, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  6. Cristian

    Oh geezzzz!!!.....When was it? About a week or so ago when a democrat was making fun about the republican convention...something about the GODS don't like republicans so they are sending the hurricane to shut down the convention....basically. Hmmm, looks like the 'GODS" got tired of all this democratic BS and sending in the rain... :)

    September 5, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  7. ll

    So, God is finally delivering the rain that the GOPers prayed for – he just delivered it to those more faithful.

    September 5, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  8. Four and The Door

    mikey
    They could not fill the stadium even by busing in the college kids looking for free contraception and union folk looking for government handouts.
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________
    With the money they are spending on futile personal attacks on Mitt Romney, you would think they could fill the stadium through Central Casting.

    By the way, Michelle should get an Oscar nomination for Best Leading Lady in a Political Convention for her delivery of the line that Barack will work with anyone which would suggest that person might also be a Republican. She carried it off like a pro. And she knows as well as anyone this side of Joe Biden how much of a political hack partisan politician her husband is. But she delivered the line with a straight face. Bravo, Michelle, Bravo!

    September 5, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  9. Johnmac

    How egotistical is this guy to schedule stadium for a speech?? And how stupid is the DNC to think a late summer evening in the Carolinas would be Rain-Free, against all odds.

    September 5, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  10. Truth

    Fewer people means fewer disappointments from the HOPE and CHANGE. Even god seems to dislike this political circus. Obama might have had best of intentions which probably works in smaller community organizations. They did not work on larger scale. Time to let Romney handle it like a business. I like Michelle way more than what her husband, she managed to do things which make more difference over a ling term. It's not a matter of which politician will do what but Romney might be a better choice. When the politicians ask us to 'just hang in there', will your bill collectors 'just hang in there'? When they do, they will charge you penalties and interest. Same will happen with government. They will want YOU to pay penalties and interest. Using this model, THE POLITICIANS owe US way more than their HOPE and CHANGE models. We can only count on ourselves to help one another.

    September 5, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  11. Nicky

    For those of you saying it's because they didn't sell enough tickets, you don't know what the h@ll you are talking about. I live in Charlotte and know for sure that people waiting in line 6-8 hours to get tickets to Thursday night. I also know someone that works at the DNC and they definitely SOLD OUT and there is a waiting list for others... your wishful thinking that Obama isn't going to win this election is just that – wishful. As we say in the South, go take a flying leap at a rolling donut.

    September 5, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  12. Reality Check

    Ok holiday weekend is over. However left the intern in charge of deciding what's breaking news should get back to work.

    September 5, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  13. Leopold

    My goodness...how will they ever fit Mr. Obama's ego indoors?!!

    September 5, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  14. Mark

    Does any rational thinking person actually believe this has anything to do with the weather? They were giving out tickets in bars to anyone with a pulse. Then the fear set in that maybe some of those folks would not show up. I know of probably 12 that for sure would not be there...

    September 5, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  15. EJS

    Who really cares. Everything is going down the drain – day to day expenses are higher than they were 3 1/2 years ago; while at the same time our national debt has increased by 33%. How are they going to address these issues?

    Bottom line – "The economy – Stupid" (as quoted by James Carville).

    September 5, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  16. Sarah

    Glad they moved my Carolina Panthers out of BANK OF AMERICA STADIUM for this. Guess they figured they were not going to embarass themselves any more than they already have. I hope Obamas big fat ego can fit in to Time Warner Stadium.

    September 5, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  17. dave

    ironically he moved to a massively smaller arena, my thoughts are that he couldnt fill the bigger one and wanted to keep up image so he moved to a much smaller arena to avoid the camera showing a half empty room. but hey, if i lost the country trillions of dollars i wouldnt expect reelection either.

    September 5, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  18. Mike

    All of the thunderstorms are supposed to be over by the time of Obama's speech... Forecast is isolated thunderstorms in the evening, with 30% chance of rain. I would think that is a pretty typical forecast for early September, but don't live in Charlotte. Sounds like they are using the forecast as an excuse.

    September 5, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  19. Transitdave

    Empty suit, empty promises, empty stadium, empty chairs........lots of accurate metphors here.......But I think the 65,000 seat question is, why would anyone want 4 more years of this team running things?

    September 5, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  20. Indie Liberal

    Enough with the stupid, piggy comments from idiots. The stadium was full, and we had a long wait list. How do I know? I volunteer full time with the campaign. Was it a good decision? No. We were told to bring ponchos, so clearly it didn't seem like they were going to let a little rain be a deterrent. And yes, we're all deeply disappointed, but I understand that they believe will be better not to risk lightning hitting the delegates.

    September 5, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  21. Dan

    It is good to see a real convention party like the Democrats have.. instead of that buffoonery that described the RNC convention (the empty chair was hilarious!) . We actually had a good time watching that one as well. We played "Where's Waldo", but instead of Waldo, we tried to spot a minority there. Very difficult game I tell you!

    September 5, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  22. mike48179

    Somewhere, Clint Eastwood is laughing uncontrollably.

    September 5, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  23. NooYawkah

    How fitting that the rain that's been deluging Charlotte this past week (although skies are expected to clear well before Obama's now cancelled speech) is the result of the remnants of Hurricane Isaac, you know, the one that Ellen Barkin and Samuel L. Jackson were hoping would kill republicans who didn't agree with them on everything they believed. Yeah, fitting indeed!

    September 5, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  24. Dtib

    Please people. Have you seen the weather here in Charlotte. Whether there were enough people attending is debatable. But its been raining cats and dogs all day everyday. And plenty of lightning with some of these storms. Stop the hate.

    September 5, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  25. Four and The Door

    Leopold
    My goodness...how will they ever fit Mr. Obama's ego indoors?!!
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________
    Maybe David Axelrod will let them tell him that the national debt hit $16 trillion yesterday just as they walk Barack to the entrance doors. That will at least get him indoors until he figures out a way to blame Republicans in another minute or two.

    September 5, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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