Obama's speech to move indoors
September 5th, 2012
10:05 AM ET
10 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. keith

    Dear Ken...If demand is so high, why were they bussing in so many folks to fill the stadium? Hope is not fact.

    September 5, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  2. nolimits3333

    "We Built It!"

    – Republicans commenting on the National Debt

    September 5, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  3. Bob

    Thousands turned away? Umm....yeah right. They couldn't fill the stadium, so lets pretend the masses are still supporting Obama.

    September 5, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  4. Audrey Collier

    Great lookin out! Safety first

    September 5, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  5. skarphace

    Dan: do you really think God cares about politics? Do you really think He is up there biting his nails over the outcome of this election? If so, then you must be a Teavangelist.

    September 5, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  6. Diane

    What's even more interesting is the fact that Obama will let the rain fall where it may on Bill Clinton.

    September 5, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  7. Jona

    Bahahahahahahahahahaha. That place would look like the old Marlins stadium on a Wednesday school night. The small convention center will keep it more intimate. Bahahahahahahahahaha

    September 5, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  8. Charlotte, NC

    I'm from Charlotte and I strongly know that they could have filled the stadium. However, the logistics of getting all of these people to the stadium would have been a nightmare. Charlotte has a nice downtown which is compact. Everything is close and within walking distance of each other. It cannot handle 50,000 people coming all at once with the secret service restrictions.

    September 5, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
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