Updated 09/06/2012 01:09 AM
President's DNC Speech Moved Indoors Amid Severe Weather Threat
There's been a major shift in plans for the Democratic convention in Charlotte. President Obama was supposed to give his acceptance speech before 65,000 supporters at the Bank of America football stadium tomorrow night. But the weather has forced a change. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
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 forced a last-minute relocation indoors to Time Warner Cable Arena, leaving tens of thousands of ticket holders out in the cold.
"I am so, so, so, so, so disappointed," said campaign volunteer Debra Young. "I'm thrown for such a loop. I don't even - I don't know what to do now."
Charlotte resident Kacie Arandas said 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," she said. "And we're just super disappointed."
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.
Convention organizers dismissed suggestions that they were having trouble filling the stadium, arguing public safety was paramount with thunderstorms and lightning in the forecast.
"It's really disappointing," said Convention Committee CEO Steve Kerrigan. "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. Ticket holders will also be invited to another event with the president sometime before Election Day.
"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," said Obama campaign spokesman Tom Reynolds. "I know the president is going to be excited to come down here, you know, to both talk to folks here in North Carolina but across the country."
There is no official word on how much the canceled event will cost the Democrats.