President Obama will deliver his DNC speech from the relatively cosy confines of the Time Warner Cable Arena on Thursday, and not from the 70,000-plus seat Bank of America Stadium.
NBC News was the first to report the change: “Democrats are moving their convention indoors for Obama’s speech Thursday night due to weather,” the network tweeted moments ago. The change in venue has since been confirmed by multiple other news outlets.
DNC officials had maintained all week that Obama’s speech would go on as planned at the stadium that plays host to the NFL’s Carolina Panthers unless there was a severe weather event that forced them to change their plans.
Some observers had wondered aloud, however, whether Democrats would be able to pack the house in time for the president’s prime-time speech, or if they’d be left watching their candidate address a crowd checkered with empty seats. While that will no longer be a fear for organizers, they nonetheless now face the likelihood that Republicans will argue that the move was more about political optics than crowd safety.