The event tickets, disbursed for free by the local Obama campaign office, had been good for access to the outdoor — and much larger — Bank of America Stadium, where the president had been scheduled to speak. But the tickets wouldn't grant access to the smaller, indoor, Time-Warner Cable Arena, where Obama will now make his address.
Republicans and conservative pundits are charging that the real reason the speech was moved is because Obama couldn't draw enough supporters to fill the stadium. The Weather Channel predicts only a 30 percent chance of rain and isolated thunder storms for tomorrow night.
Meanwhile, the Buncombe County Democratic Party is offering refunds to attendees who had booked seats on their chartered buses. And the local Obama For America office has organized a speech-watching party at Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company at 675 Merrimon Ave.
In an email to supporters who were planning to ride down to Charlotte, Buncombe County Democratic Party Treasurer Jake Quinn writes: "Let's view this as a minor setback as we continue forward to Nov. 6. Now, more than ever, we need to pull together to achieve electoral success."
Here's the press release from the Democratic National Convention Committee:
The Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) regretfully announced today that President Obama and Vice President Biden’s nomination acceptance speeches, originally planned for Bank of America Stadium on Thursday, September 6, will be moved to Time Warner Cable Arena due to severe weather forecasts.
More than 65,000 Americans obtained community credentials to attend the event. They will be invited to still take part in history as the President will host a conference call tomorrow afternoon specifically for credential holders so he may address them directly. Call-in information will be emailed to community credential holders. The DNCC also said plans will be made to ensure that those unable to attend the nomination acceptance will be invited to see the President between now and election day.
With safety for all the attendees being the ultimate concern, DNCC CEO Steve Kerrigan said, “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.”
The excitement and enthusiasm for the event had been building in Charlotte and across the country over the last several weeks. Supporters are encouraged to sustain that enthusiasm by fulfilling the original intent of the President’s public nomination acceptance: Americans coming together with their friends and neighbors to watch and participate in history. Americans everywhere are asked to join with others to watch tomorrow night’s proceedings, and engage in an ongoing dialogue about the country’s future. Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter @DemConvention using hashtag #DNC2012.