Tags: Obama | speech | indoors | DNC

Democrats Confirm Obama's Speech Will Be Moved Indoors

By    |   Wednesday, 05 September 2012 11:21 AM

President Barack Obama scrapped plans to hold the biggest speech of his re-election campaign in a 74,000-seat outdoor football stadium on Thursday night, moving it to a much smaller venue due to severe weather forecasts.

The address to the Democratic National Convention will now be held in the approximately 20,000-seat Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina, convention officials said on Wednesday.

The change is a blow to Obama and Democrats, who had hoped to create a visual spectacle in Charlotte's Bank of America stadium —  the home of the NFL's Carolina Panthers — to rival his 2008 acceptance speech in a football stadium in Denver, Colorado.

Tickets to the speech had been distributed to tens of thousands of Obama supporters from around the country who planned to converge on Charlotte to hear him accept the party's nomination for the Nov. 6 election.

Obama will speak to those supporters on a conference call on Thursday afternoon, organizers said.

Speculation started Tuesday that the move might be made with some observers believing the move would be made because the party did not want the possibility of damaging images of the president speaking before rows of empty seats.

But Democrats insist it is all due to the weather. "We have been monitoring weather forecasts closely and several reports predict thunderstorms in the area," convention chief Steve Kerrigan said in a statement.

"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."

Kerrigan said "we share the disappointment" of the supporters who had signed up for credentials. "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."

Weather forecasters had predicted a chance of thunderstorms for Charlotte on Thursday night.

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