President's speech changes venue
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — 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.
"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 15,000 people on the wait list for the stadium.