Last-minute move to smaller venue cramps space, leaves others without event passes
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — President Barack Obama’s nomination acceptance speech has packed out the Time Warner Cable Arena in downtown Charlotte. Anticipating a stirring speech, thousands of delegates and guests began pouring into the venue as early as noon today.
Obama had been scheduled to give his speech at the much larger Bank of America Stadium. Some 60,000 or more invitees with community, friends and family credentials were told yesterday the event had been moved to the Time Warner Cable Arena. Officials said the move was necessary due to potential severe weather. Yet, as of 7:45 p.m., skies over Charlotte were only mostly cloudy and the setting sun was casting pink reflections on passing clouds. Weather maps showed several severe thunderstorms in the immediately-surrounding area but not over downtown Charlotte.
By 4 p.m. the crowd moving to enter the arena was already hard to navigate. Just a little over two hours later, the fire department had already closed the convention floor to anyone who didn’t have a delegate pass or not already on the floor.
Credentials officials said lines for access at the arena were longer today than at anytime earlier in the week.
“A lot of people showed up just for the first time this week this morning,” said one.
The packed venue means those locked out of the arena’s bowls get to hobnob with passing dignitaries. Check out photos of some of the delegates, guests and big-name folks we saw hanging out outside of the convention hall.