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. DaveinDenver

    To distribute 65000 tickets they had to attempt to bus people in from colleges and churches out of the area. They just didn't want to have a half empty stadium seen on TV.

    September 5, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  2. Pebkac

    Uh-Oh... looks like people have seen the results from this presidency and the wheels are coming off the wagon. This weather excuse is a clear dodge for not having enough people to fill the place. A far cry from 2008! It will be interesting to see how this campaign continues to unfold.

    September 5, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  3. Truth

    HOPE and CHANGE is alive for unemployed. They HOPE someone will give then CHANGE as they sit down on a street corner. Don't trust the politicians. Even democrats claiming to be champions of transparency is hiding their supporters who have made millions off our back. They certainly didn't do it alone. Millions of uninformed paid for them. One way or another.

    September 5, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  4. Don

    It's ironic that, while Vince McMahon's wife is running as a Republican for the Senate, people are claiming the Democrats are taking a play from Vince's playbook. (20 years or so ago, WrestleMania 7 was scheduled for the LA Coliseum, but when they discovered they were nowhere near a sellout, they moved it to an indoor arena and made up a story about "security reasons" as the excuse.
    However, I believe the "weather" story for this one – the DNC could easily fill an outdoor stadium if it put its mind to it; besides, all the Republicans have to do is to take a quick count of how many people with tickets were left out, add it to the number of seats inside, and use that to show how many empty seats there would have been (not that too many people would have noticed, as you can make a 2/3-empty stadium seem full with the right camera angles).

    September 5, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  5. Scott

    I guess they could not find enough people from out of state to bus in, they talked about bussing from S.C. and VA Not to many people want to listen to the windbag Obama, spread his hate and lies.

    September 5, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  6. joe biden

    don't forget Obama's speech was supposed to be at BANK OF AMERICA stadium! pretty ironic since Obama has demonized the bank and suggested they should not be allowed to make a profit, while other dems suggested the bank should be forced out of business. great job O....while in Charlotte you may start to realize that at least 1 of every 4 people you meet are employed by the bank.

    September 5, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  7. Fair is Fair

    What to to with the Greek colums... what to do....

    September 5, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  8. Nicky

    Ok, y'all continue to think what you like. Let's reconvene after election day and see who is laughing then...

    September 5, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  9. ObjectiveGuy

    Alleged big turnout at the DNC? Only because most of its members are unemployed anyway, whereas the Republicans had to be at work to support the Democrats who are free to attend the convention. I heard the concession stands accept food stamps.

    September 5, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  10. gt

    tonight the NFL kicks off....not many viewers will turn to the DNC speaches...Giants vs Cowboys ...sorry bill...you know how americans love football..

    September 5, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  11. Pebkac

    Ummm.... and you guys dont think the DNC considered the weather 6 months ago when planning this? You dont rent a stadium this size unless you intend to use it and you better belive they would be there if they could show the throngs of people shouting Obama's name in the rain. The fact is they cant fill it! I believe this is a major wakeup call for the DNC. Slanted polls and media bias won't fill stadiums. Only real supporters can do that and they are coming up short. The people they thought would come are probably all busy trying to find jobs.

    September 5, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  12. tv22

    Nice job, promising something to 50,000 supporters that it now can't deliver. More of the same from Obama.

    September 5, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  13. Ohiomark

    Typical Demos....can't plan for beans. Between 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 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  14. ObjectiveGuy

    The real reason the acceptance speech had to be moved indoors is that the neighbors didn't want to deal with the stench of manure that will surely arise from any Obama speech!

    September 5, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  15. ghostriter

    I wonder what convention republicans were watching last night. I heard several statements that amounted to " Bush left us a mess and now things are better". Gov. Deval mentioned that not only are things in MA better since Bush, they are much better since Romney. Mayor Castro mentioned how things are in San Antonio. Ms. Ledbetter certainly stated how much better things are now.

    Jon Stewart nailed it last week. Republicans have this completely made up view of what things are going. Kinda why talking to an invisible president makes sense. Most of what their reasoning is made up as well.

    September 5, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  16. Larry L

    @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.
    ----------------------------------------------------
    The Secret Service would be most concerned about the radical right-wing. President Obama has faced more threats of violence than the last ten Presidents combined. The Republican icon Ted "Mr. Crappy-pants" Nugent is not particularly unusual for a Republican.

    September 5, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  17. Rachael

    Am betting this has nothing to do with the weather – I bet they couldn't sell all the seats in Panthers Stadium. 40% chance of rain in NC isn't good odds on rain. And it's 30% chance tomorrow night is even worse odds. I would bet they moved speech in doors for same reason they cancelled the big event at the Charlotte Motorspeedway – couldn't fill the seats. They are already busing in hundreds of people for these events. And since they are triple checking IDs at the door – hard to find that many legal Americans who support them.

    September 5, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  18. Rudy NYC

    How many people did Romeny have in the Detroit 80,000 seat stadium? Less than 300.

    The haters will always take every opportunity create a negative spin on anything. There is no denying the fact that severe thunderstorms and remnants of Hurricane Isaac will still be in the NC area.

    September 5, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  19. Karen

    They can't begin to fill it even with giving tickets away and bussing people in. Their arrogance got a reality check!

    September 5, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  20. Indie Liberal

    Possible lightning storms, people. It was because of the weather, and no matter how loudly you shout that the stadium was going to be half empty, you're going to only look like a desperate twit, just like your candidate. We had so many calls from people still wanting tickets to a sold out event, we had to start calling folks who had tickets to make sure they were still coming. Your empty suit of a candidate couldn't have filled a stadium, but ours did, and with a long waitlist to boot.

    September 5, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  21. sylvia

    I am surprised Obama just didn't cause the rain to turn away and the sun to shine. He and this whole expensive boondoggle sicken me on behalf of my country. Why should these conventions cost the taxpayer $36 million just so these people can go party for a week? I know lots of people without jobs, who would love to get them, and they can't, and Obama parties on.

    September 5, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  22. dc

    Do you figure it "might" also have had something to do with the fact they couldn't fill the seats, even by giving away tickets?

    September 5, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  23. bailouts

    it's only because they couldn't fill the seats. that's it. period.

    September 5, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  24. dc

    To insight iowa – you had the House & Senat for 2 years under Obama – It didn't get done. They couldn't even do a budget!

    September 5, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  25. sunshine7160

    I live in North Carolina. A 30% chance of a thunderstorm means it's gonna be a nice day. LOL! we also haven't had bad weather lately. A few thunderstorms here and there but that's it. They just can't fill the 70,000 seats. I laughed out loud when I read this article.

    September 5, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
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