Shortly after the Daily Mail reported yesterday that President Obama’s speech would be moved to a smaller, easier-to-fill indoor stadium due to inclement weather, the Obama campaign came out and vociferously denied it, insisting that the speech would take place as planned in the 74,000-capacity Bank of America Stadium “rain or shine.”
Well, not even a full day later, the campaign did an about-face. Obama’s speech will now take place in a 20,000-capacity indoor arena. Due to weather concerns:
Democrats are significantly downsizing the final night of their national convention, moving the events — including President Obama’s acceptance speech — from Bank of America Stadium to the Time Warner Cable Arena because of threats of thunder and lightning.
Mr. Obama was slated to accept the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday night in the open-air football stadium before a crowd of more than 65,000. The basketball and hockey arena, however, seats just around 20,000.
Note that the CBS News story above reports that the crowd at Bank of America Stadium would have been around 65,000 — not 74,000, which is the arena’s actual capacity. That 65,000 number is from the Obama campaign, which claimed yesterday that the stadium seats less than its full capacity for non-football events, for whatever reason. Sounds like somebody in Obamaland might have been preparing the media for seeing rows of unoccupied seats in case Obama gave the speech in Bank of America Stadium.
The 20,000-seat stadium will be much better for the president. Now the campaign will have an overflow crowd instead of thousands of empty chairs — which, after Clint Eastwood’s speech, would certainly have had an added significance.