Weather concerns push Obama’s convention speech indoors

September 5, 2012

President Obama's Thursday convention speech will be moved indoors because of weather concerns, the Democratic National Convention Committee announced this morning.

The original plan was for Obama to speak outdoors at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

"We have been monitoring weather forecasts closely and several reports predict thunderstorms in the area, 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,” said DNCC CEO Steve Kerrigan in a statement.

The decision to move Thursday's speech indoors presents complications for the 65,000 people who held community credentials for Obama's speech. Bank of America Stadium's listed capacity for football games is nearly 74,000 people; Time Warner Cable Arena's listed capacity for a basketball game is about 20,000.

Kerrigan said that Obama would address the people who signed up for community credentials on a conference call Thursday. 

"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," Kerrigan said.

"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.”

In 2008, Obama did not take the traditional route of delivering his convention address at the same indoor venue that housed the rest of the speeches. He accepted his party's presidential nomination with a speech outdoors at Invesco Field in Denver, and had planned to use a venue on the same scale this year.

A senior Obama campaign adviser said that safety was was the foremost concern in the decision-making process that ultimately moved the event inside. The adviser added that the campaign is encouraging those who held community credentials for the event to hold watch parties from home.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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Sean Sullivan · September 5, 2012