NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

LIVE from Charlotte: DNCC moves Thursday evening events to Time Warner Cable Arena

The fourth evening of the 2012 Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Con­ven­tion will take place at Time Warn­er Cable Are­na instead of Bank of Amer­i­ca Sta­di­um as pre­vi­ous­ly planned, con­ven­tion orga­niz­ers have just announced.

“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. The Pres­i­dent will speak to these cre­den­tial hold­ers on a nation­al con­fer­ence call tomor­row after­noon, 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.”

The move means that far few­er peo­ple will be able to watch Pres­i­dent Oba­ma’s nom­i­na­tion speech in per­son. Time Warn­er Cable Are­na can only accom­mo­da­tion a max­i­mum of 20,200 peo­ple (though its capac­i­ty for the DNC is less, since the build­ing was recon­fig­ured for the con­ven­tion and not all seat­ing is avail­able). Bank of Amer­i­ca Sta­di­um’s capac­i­ty is more than three times that… 73,778.

Four years ago, Pres­i­dent Oba­ma accept­ed the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty’s nom­i­na­tion for pres­i­dent before a huge crowd at Invesco Field in Den­ver. The weath­er that day was excel­lent — it was sun­ny and warm out.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, there’s a strong pos­si­bil­i­ty that there will be thun­der­storms tomor­row in Char­lotte, which could bring heavy rain and light­ning.

NOAA’s Nation­al Weath­er Ser­vice has pub­lished the fol­low­ing fore­cast for tomor­row:

A slight chance of show­ers, then a chance of show­ers and thun­der­storms after 9 AM. Patchy fog before 8 AM. Oth­er­wise, most­ly cloudy, with a high near 88. South­west wind 5 to 7 mph. Chance of pre­cip­i­ta­tion is 40%. New rain­fall amounts between a tenth and quar­ter of an inch, except high­er amounts pos­si­ble in thun­der­storms.

In addi­tion, NOAA has issued the fol­low­ing haz­ardous weath­er out­look for today:

SCATTERED TO NUMEROUS SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS WILL DEVELOP ACROSS THE REGION TODAY AND LINGER INTO THIS EVENING. THE PRIMARY THREAT FROM ANY THUNDERSTORMS WILL BE LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL. IF THUNDERSTORMS REPEATEDLY AFFECT THE SAME LOCATION… FLASH FLOODING OF STREAMS OR URBAN FLOODING OF POOR DRAINAGE AREAS COULD RESULT. CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING STRIKES WILL ALSO BE POSSIBLE WITH ANY THUNDERSTORMS.

The DNCC evi­dent­ly con­clud­ed that the risk of thun­der­storms was too great to move for­ward with plans to hold Thurs­day evening’s events at Bank of Amer­i­ca Sta­di­um. They took a chance on the weath­er and it did­n’t pay off.

Were Bank of Amer­i­ca Sta­di­um more like Cen­tu­ryLink Field in Seat­tle, con­ven­tion orga­niz­ers might have opt­ed to stick with the orig­i­nal plan and make con­tin­gency plans for rain. As many read­ers are no doubt aware, hav­ing been to many Sea­hawks and Sounders games, Cen­tu­ryLink Field is par­tial­ly shield­ed from the ele­ments… the stands are cov­ered. It was designed for Pacif­ic North­west weath­er.

But Bank of Amer­i­ca Sta­di­um has no roof at all. That means that when it rains, the only way to stay dry is to put on a pon­cho.

Con­ven­tion orga­niz­ers don’t have the abil­i­ty to put a makeshift roof on Bank of Amer­i­ca Sta­di­um, so they’re mov­ing Thurs­day evening to Time Warn­er Cable Are­na. In doing so, they made a safe call.

No doubt a lot of peo­ple who wait­ed patient­ly to obtain com­mu­ni­ty cre­den­tials are feel­ing dis­ap­point­ed right about now. Can’t say that I blame them. But the Oba­ma cam­paign has pledged to do its best to make it up to them.

The cam­paign has sug­gest­ed that com­mu­ni­ty cre­den­tials will be hon­ored at a forth­com­ing event or set of events, pos­si­bly cam­paign ral­lies in Char­lotte. And there’s the con­fer­ence call on Thurs­day.

Pass­es to Time Warn­er Cable Are­na are going to be a hot tick­et tomor­row, with­out ques­tion. If the DNCC is smart, they’ll install a few extra screens so they can fill a few more seats that don’t have a view of the stage, and there­by allow more vol­un­teers to at least be in the are­na when Pres­i­dent Oba­ma accepts the nom­i­na­tion.

POSTSCRIPT: The Char­lotte Observ­er has a sto­ry about the deci­sion that cap­tures some of the reac­tion from guests.

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3 Comments

  1. It has been con­firmed they are mov­ing because even with the stu­dents and church­go­ers bussed in by the DNC, they may not even fill the are­na with 20,000 peo­ple.

    # by D C :: September 5th, 2012 at 8:52 AM
    • Not cor­rect. As stat­ed in the post, the rea­son for the venue change is weath­er, not a fear of not being able to fill seats. The DNCC dis­trib­uted 65,000 com­mu­ni­ty cre­den­tials for Bank of Amer­i­ca Sta­di­um and there are an addi­tion­al 19,000 peo­ple on the wait­ing list.

      Time Warn­er Cable Are­na will be packed on Thurs­day night for the nom­i­na­tion accep­tance speech­es.

      # by Andrew :: September 5th, 2012 at 9:38 AM
  2. Thanks for your cov­er­age. Real­ly appre­ci­at­ed it.

    # by Nelson Stephens :: September 28th, 2012 at 10:42 PM