President Barack Obama speaks to supporters in the rain in July at Walkerton Tavern in Glen Allen, Va. (Alex Wong/Getty …
Citing "severe weather forecasts," the Democratic National Convention Committee announced Wednesday that President Barack Obama would move his prime-time acceptance speech from Bank of America Stadium to a smaller, indoor venue nearby.
"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," DNCC CEO Steve Kerrigan said in a statement.
Republicans had questioned whether Obama could fill the stadium's 73,778 seats (and needled Democrats for holding their big event in a venue named for a bank associated with unpopular Wall Street bailouts). Kerrigan's statement said 65,000 people had signed up for "community credentials" to see the president speak.
"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," Kerrigan said.
On Tuesday, Obama re-election campaign manager Jim Messina said at a forum organized by ABC and Yahoo News that the speech would occur in the stadium "rain or shine" unless the safety of those attending might be jeopardized.