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. BOB

    I thought it was going to be "rain or shine". Just cant bus in enough people with promises of free stuff? What a joke.

    September 5, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  2. RobK

    The real reason is that they don't want to be associated with "Bank of America".

    September 5, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  3. jinx88

    Wow! 15,000 people on the what list. I wonder if Repukes CPAC's had to pay people to got to theirs in Tampa last week.

    September 5, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  4. Save Our Country

    They were afraid of the empty seats because the secret service wanted to photo ID everyone as they entered the stadium. This would of meant the 50,000 illegals that they invited would not get in.

    September 5, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  5. Hank

    "As a result, thousands will be turned away. "
    They know they really didn't have to worry about that happening.

    September 5, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  6. insight iowa

    I watched the Convention last night and I felt so proud... I actually felt that "warm and fuzzy feeling" that the GOP wanted me to feel. The diversity of people there vs. the GOP Convention was so compelling. They are the "FACES OF AMERICA"!! All those seats where filled with "America". :) Our HOPE and CHANGE is not dead... we just need to give the President the House and Senate to get it done!! Straight Democratic ticket 2012!!!!

    September 5, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  7. NooYawkah

    @Nicky since you live in Charlotte you should also know that the weather is not a valid excuse for the cancellation. Remember, the Olympics were also sold out, yet event after event took place before empty seats. Just because all the tickets were taken doesn't mean they're gonna be used, especially if all those scalpers who got their hands on them are left holding.

    September 5, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  8. JayK

    I guess God doesn't like either party...

    September 5, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  9. sea anderson

    30-40% chance of thunder showers? I'd say that's enough reason to move indoors.

    September 5, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  10. Nicky

    Sorry – "waited" – typing fast because I was angry. Giving out tickets in bars? Are you kidding me? That is a flat out lie... and it doesn't matter if the thunderstorms might be gone by 10pm, you dummies. People will have to show up by 6 or 7pm in order to get through security, etc., which means they will be exposed to the storms for 4 -5 hours. Do you really think the DNC wants to risk having someone get electrocuted while waiting for the President's speech? Use your brains, folks. Again, I know people that work for the DNC and it definitely DID sell out.

    September 5, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  11. April

    Truth is–not enough supporters to fill the stadium-anybody want to buy a couple of fake Roman columns–CHEAP-HAHAHAHA!!!!

    September 5, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  12. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Just like they have down played the President's historic accomplishments, the right wing losers are going to down play the First Lady's convention speech whic some historians are already dubbing as the "the speech of the century." Yes, that wonderful and breathtaking speech by First Lady Michelle Obama was not only inspiring but it was also the greatest speech in history. Period! Eat your heart out confederates!

    September 5, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  13. Truth

    No such thing as 'FREE'. Someone has to pay or someone has to work for free. No such thing as magic either. All tricks played by the ones wanting us to live in a world of illusions. Rely on generosity of others but that is not a guarantee. When a politician guarantees you something for free on a permanent basis, they can only do so by putting someone in chains.

    September 5, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  14. BlkPwr817

    Well the good thing is that the folks who wont get a chance to see his acceptant speech live will have a chance to fill the streets of DC like they did in 2008 for his re-inauguration...

    September 5, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  15. 55 Days until Obama is RE-ELECTED

    LOL – when are the right wing Faux Noise parroters actually going to have an intelligent discussion on what it is that the Repugnant platform plans to do to different this time around? I haven't heard anything NEW!

    The same old anti-abortion, less govt, less taxes, increase Defense spending theology has proven time and time again to be an abject failure and not something they have EVER done! So.. please try to have an intelligent discussion folks.. the anti-Obama trolling does nothing but downgrade you to dumber than mud level!

    September 5, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  16. Darlis

    Good heavens folks.. why would you take a 30% chance on anyone's life? People waited in the heat for hours to get tickets and credentials. so you seriously do not know what you are talking about.. but it my ticket to someone taking me seriously was Romney/Ryan, I guess I would snatch at anytbing to try to enhance their resume..

    September 5, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  17. insight iowa

    Hank – The President was here in Iowa last Saturday... 10,000 showed up. Can you say that about Romney/Ryan? The Presidents Grassroots are not dead or gone... we are here... just waiting for Nov. 6th. This time around we will give him the House and Senate so he can get this country moving forward!!!

    September 5, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  18. fuzzsonic

    Clearly this was the right decision. Very disappointing for those of us who won't be able to attend in person, but safety and the success of the event are far too important. America needs this man to be our President for another four years. I look forward to watching live from my home, surrounded by enthusiastic friends and family.

    September 5, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  19. Disappointed

    Lol! I hope this is a sign he won't get re-elected ! Voted for him last time! Not this time! The democratic party is really gone off the deep end, scary!'

    September 5, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  20. dnokc

    20% chance of rain....? Must be a fair weather crowd.

    September 5, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  21. rosemary

    Are these the same people who laughed at RNC for having a convention in Tampa during hurricane season? So they decided to have their convention at an outdoor venue, in the South during the Summer? Yeah, move it indoors, so you all won't get struck by lightening.

    September 5, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  22. Conservative

    It sounds like the Liberals message this election is to pay our fair share, and to give Barack another shot at failing. Let's get real his policies don't work. His energy policy is to give green/tree hugger companies millions of dollars to fail at something they know won't work. Green energy is a great idea but it does not supply the grid with constant energy i.e. the wind doesn't blow or the sun goes down. I have no problem paying my fair share but I don't trust the government with my money they seem to struggle balancing the budget. Another message is to keep blaming Bush, let's face it Bush wasn't the greatest President but he was put in a situation with 9/11 that brought on two wars which any President would have fought, we were a pissed off nation. Americas problems come from both sides of the aisle. Our problem is people depend on the Government to much, we need to get off our asses and get of Welfare, and the Government needs to cut spending.

    September 5, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  23. Ohiomark

    Typical Demos....can't plan for beans. ABetween gas prices, the national debt (do demos even realize how much 16 TRILLION even is, and when they are adding $4T every year to it? Demos never worry about paying the bill, just print and spend, print and spend. What they could do is ask for donations to help pay off all the debt Obama added

    September 5, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  24. RRP

    WOW! common sense and logic...one of the lease common of the senses in the REPUBLICAN PARTY! .. As far as I'm concerned the deal is done... Michelle good care of it last night.

    September 5, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  25. Chris

    It has nothing to do with the weather as that late in the evening most storms die down (weather.com has PoP at 20%). It has everything to do with having Obama speak to a mostly empty 74,000 seat stadium versus a packed 20,000 venue. To make the situation even more sad, they are busing in folks from nearby colleges in SC to take up seats.

    September 5, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
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