DNC moving opening event from Speedway to uptown Charlotte

The host committee for the Democratic National Convention says there is a big move for the opening event of the DNC in September. The event is moving from the Charlotte Motor Speedway, in Concord, to uptown Charlotte.

The opening event, dubbed CarolinaFest 2012, is expected to be a family friendly Labor Day celebration and convention week kick off event.

The move places the kick off event in the center of convention related events and will give more Americans access to convention activity in a centralized location, the committee says.

The announcement came on Monday evening.

"Our goal in hosting CarolinaFest to kick-off the 2012 Democratic National Convention is to provide an open and accessible convention experience to more Americans than ever before," said Dan Murrey, Executive Director of the Charlotte in 2012 Convention Host Committee.

"In order to facilitate public caucus meetings – and to maximize accessibility, transportation, and proximity of all guests – we have decided that moving CarolinaFest 2012 to Uptown Charlotte is the best way to achieve that goal.  While we regret having to move CarolinaFest away from our great partners at the Charlotte Motor Speedway and the City of Concord, we are thrilled with the opportunity that comes with hosting this event in Uptown Charlotte."

However, there is disappointment at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Scott Cooper is the Speedway spokesperson who feels one of the areas biggest venues is being cut out of the action.

"We're gonna lose something from the exposure stand point. We are a spot light when we host a national or international event," he said.

The event location on Tryon Street in Uptown Charlotte puts the celebration in the middle of the 2012 Democratic National Convention's facilities: Time Warner Cable Arena, the Charlotte Convention Center, and Bank of America Stadium.

The local host commitee has enlisted the help of Center City Partners.

President and CEO Michael Smith expects the organization to provide logistical support.

"The event planning is being done by the host committee. We will serve as advisory group for that. We will be working with them as they advance their planning."

Caucus meetings are open to the public and will be easily accessible from CarolinaFest 2012. The move will make it easy for Charlotte-area residents to utilize public transportation to attend the event and provides additional economic opportunities for local businesses.

"The location of CarolinaFest 2012 has changed but the elements of the event will not," Murrey said. "Guests attending CarolinaFest 2012 will enjoy a free event with interactive expositions, family oriented activities, live music, speakers and history in the making, all in a centralized location."