Thursday, February 22, 2018
Politics

President Barack Obama's acceptance speech moved indoors

Democratic officials confirm to POLITICO that President Barack Obama's primetime address will be moved indoors to the Time Warner Center.

The Thursday address was scheduled to be at Bank of America stadium — an outdoor venue with more than 70,000 seats. But forecasts are predicting thunderstorms, forcing a last-minute change in venue.

Campaign officials have been saying all week that the event would go forward "rain or shine" — but reversed themselves Wednesday.

The move has an upside for the campaign, which has reportedly struggled to fill all the seats in the massive outdoor arena. Still, the arena only has a capacity of just over 20,000 — meaning that tens of thousands of potential supporters will be denied the opportunity to see Obama speak.

In a statement, the DNC organizing committee CEO Steve Kerrigan said: "The energy and enthusiasm for our convention in Charlotte has been overwhelming and we share the disappointment of over 65,000 people who signed up for community credentials to be there with the president in person. We encourage our community credential holders and Americans across the country to continue to come together with their friends and neighbors to watch and participate in history. The president will speak to these credential holders on a national conference call tomorrow afternoon, and we will work with the campaign to ensure that those unable to attend tomorrow's event will be invited to see the president between now and election day."

Obama's speech at Bank of America stadium was expected to be a sequel to his 2008 acceptance speech at Invesco Field in Denver, where he accepted the Democratic nomination in front of almost 80,000 supporters. That speech went off without a hitch, despite the risks and uncertainty of holding such an event outdoors.

POLITICO and the Tampa Bay Times have partnered for the 2012 presidential election.

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