President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign is considering moving the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, to Bank of America Stadium to sell more skyboxes to wealthy donors, according to people familiar with the matter.
The almost 74,000-seat home of the Carolina Panthers professional football team would also have room for the convention to sell more floor passes close to the stage. Planners for the event are struggling to meet a $36.6 million fundraising goal, according to three people.
Obama’s advisers are aware of the political downside of the president delivering his nationally televised acceptance in a stadium named for a bank that considered imposing a fee that he said would have “mistreated” customers, the people said.
That would be outweighed by the chance to lure more big- dollar contributors, including corporate foundations, to cover the convention’s costs, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the planning. The rest of the convention, scheduled to begin Sept. 3, will be conducted at the Time-Warner Cable Arena.
Joanne Peters, press secretary for the Charlotte convention, said, “We plan to hold the convention at the Time Warner Cable Arena.”
Four Years Later
An outdoor finale for the convention would echo the atmosphere of four years ago in Denver, when Obama accepted his party’s nomination under a clear Colorado night at Invesco Field.
The administration has had a mixed relationship with Charlotte-based Bank of America Corp. In May of 2010, Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to Obama, praised Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan for having a “level of corporate responsibility beyond the bank.”
Last October, Obama criticized a planned $5 dollar monthly fee that Bank of America was going to charge its debit card users. He said that while banks have a right to set fees, he questioned the bank’s explanation for the new charge.
“People have been using financial regulation as an excuse to charge consumers more,” Obama said at a White House news conference on Oct. 6. Following complaints from consumers, the bank shelved its plans to impose the fee.
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