Venue change for Obama’s speech
With President Barack Obama's acceptance speech scheduled for Thursday night, a last minute venue change was made to avoid bad weather. The last day of the convention has been moved from the outdoor Bank of America football stadium to the smaller indoor Time Warner Cable Arena. Our Bobby Cuza has the latest.
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It was supposed to be a reprise of 2008. Instead, Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte will sit empty Thursday night. Instead of setting up for President Obama's big speech, crews were breaking things down Wednesday. Forecasts for severe weather forcing a last minute relocation indoors to Time Warner Cable Arena, leaving tens of thousands of ticketholders out in the cold.
"I am so, so, so, so, so disappointed. I’m thrown for such a loop. I don't even, I don't know what to do now," Debra Young said.
Kacie Arandas was she waited in line ten hours for tickets, like many other Charlotte residents. She even had a niece flying in from Pennsylvania to attend.
"Now we're not going to be able to go and we're just super disappointed," Arandas said.
Altogether, Democrats had given out 65,000 tickets, with 19,000 more on a waiting list. The plan was for a packed stadium, a high-energy spectacle. Time Warner Cable Arena holds less than a third as many people, meaning it'll be mostly just delegates, media and invited guests in attendance.
"It's really disappointing."
Convention organizers dismissed suggestions they were having trouble filling the stadium, arguing public safety was paramount with thunderstorms and lightning in the forecast.
Steve Kerrigan said, "We didn't want to bring a bunch of people out, 65,000 other people out, into the weather. Who would have come? We know, to support the president, but we didn't want to put them in harm's way."
To make amends, President Obama, who arrived in Charlotte Wednesday, will address ticket holders in a conference call Thursday. Ticketholders will also be invited to another event with the president sometime before Election Day.
Obama Campaign Spokesman Tom Reynolds said, "We would have loved to have more people in that stadium for the president to talk to. But we're not going to miss a beat. I know the president is going to be excited to come down here."