Obama speech weather stadium arena DNC credential GOP Democrat - | WBTV Charlotte

President's speech moved indoors, credentials will not be honored

Community credentials to see the President at the Bank of America stadium will not be honored at the TWC arena (Photo Source: Jonathan Papkin - Twitter) Community credentials to see the President at the Bank of America stadium will not be honored at the TWC arena (Photo Source: Jonathan Papkin - Twitter)

The last day of the Democratic National Convention, which was slated to be held at the Bank of America stadium, will be moved indoors, according to convention officials due to the risk of severe weather.

According to the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC), convention programming for Thursday evening will be moved to Time Warner Cable Arena.  The arena is the site of the first two days of the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

President Barack Obama addressed community credential holders in a conference call on Thursday.  Call information was emailed directly to community credential-holders.

"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," said DNCC CEO Steve Kerrigan.

"The energy and enthusiasm for our convention in Charlotte has been overwhelming and we share the disappointment of over 65,000 people who signed up for community credentials to be there with the President in person.  We encourage our community credential holders and Americans across the country to continue to come together with their friends and neighbors to watch and participate in history."

John Olsen from Iowa has a community credential. He says he came to "sell buttons and enjoy the experience. One of things I was looking forward to was hearing a great speech". Now he says he's "devastated".

Gail Kennedy Haines - a volunteer from Vermont - says she and another volunteer, Ursula Nadolny came to Charlotte just to see the President in person. Kennedy-Haines says she really wanted to hear Barack Obama speak because "he's the last president I expect in my life that I will feel this kind of enthusiasm for." Nadolny says she "deflated but she completely understands the situation." Vanessa Ramseur, a volunteer from Charlotte, says she's not angry she's won't be able to see the President. She says "I'm perfectly fine with that because as long as he gets in and he's president - that's all I'm looking forward to".

"The President will speak to these credential holders on a national conference call tomorrow afternoon," he said. "And we will work with the campaign to ensure that those unable to attend tomorrow's event will be invited to see the President between now and election day."

Officials say people who have community credentials should not plan to attend Thursday night because they can't honor all of the credentials that were given out. 

65,000 people had already activated their community credentials, but only 21,000 people will be able to get into the Time Warner Cable Arena. Many of those people are expected to be campaign donors.

Republicans have responded to the move.

"Enthusiasm for President Obama is so low that he's being forced to downgrade his convention events left and right," said Matt Connelly, RNC Spokesman. "First the DNC had to cancel their opening event at Charlotte Motor Speedway due to low enthusiasm, now President Obama is being forced to move his acceptance speech to a smaller venue just to avoid the embarrassment of speaking to an empty stadium."

"After four years of failure on the economy, it's clear that Americans are looking for actual solutions," he said. "Not another speech full of empty promises."

During a press conference on Wednesday morning, Democratic officials responded to the Republican party's criticism to move the event.

They say the DNC was the first to commend RNC for putting public safety first, when shortening  the convention in Tampa because of the storm. They are disappointed that Republicans would "attack" them for making a decision to protect public safety. 

DNC officials told WBTV they are encouraging people to hold their own viewing parties for Thursday night's speech. You can get information on that at BarackObama.com.

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