(This story has been updated.)
President Obama will accept the Democratic Party’s nomination for a second term at Charlotte’s 74,000-seat Bank of America Stadium on Sept. 6, party officials announced Tuesday.
The Democratic National Convention will kick off at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Labor Day, Sept. 3, and Obama’s speech on the final night at the massive outdoor stadium would aim to replicate his 2008 acceptance at Invesco Field in Denver.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said the size of the stadium fits Obama’s desire to allow as many people to take part in the festivities as possible.
“That allows for greater participation from Americans of all walks of life,” he said. “That’s the reason why he did it in 2008 in Invesco and why he’ll do it again in Charlotte. That’s the biggest venue.”
But Obama’s appearance at a stadium named after a bank he criticized last fall for imposing fees on debit cards could provide a touch of political awkwardness.
Meantime, Democratic Party officials said the convention, initially slated for four days as in past years, will hold formal convention events on just three of the days to allow one day for organizing and canvassing in North Carolina, a battleground state that Obama carried in 2008 by 14,000 votes over Republican nominee John McCain.
Since then, the political tide has shown signs of turning. Republicans won majorities in both chambers of the state legislature last year for the first time in 114 years. And Obama’s statewide approval ratings have fallen into the mid- to low-40s.
The president has made several visits to the state over the past several months, visiting a manufacturing company, speaking at North Carolina State University and taking a bus tour to western counties last fall.
The Charlotte Observer cited Democrats’ interest in ginning up excitement in a battleground state, along with the opportunity to provide skyboxes as perks to donors, as motivation for using the stadium instead of the indoor Time Warner Cable Arena.
Republicans will hold their annual convention in Tampa, Fla., from Aug. 27-30, 2012.