Bloomberg News

Obama Will Give Convention Speech in Bank of America Stadium

January 17, 2012

(Adds Obama’s 2008 nomination speech in final three paragraphs. For more campaign coverage, see ELECT.)

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama will deliver his party’s acceptance speech at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, moving venues for the final night of the Democratic National Convention, the party announced.

“President Obama will take the stage in the Bank of America Stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers, to accept the nomination of the Democratic Party as president with tens of thousands more people by his side” Steve Kerrigan, the chief executive officer of the party’s convention committee, said in an e-mail today to supporters.

Democrats also are trimming the convention program from four days to three “to make room for a day to organize and celebrate the Carolinas, Virginia and the South,” he said. The rest of the convention, now scheduled to begin Sept. 4, will be conducted at the Time Warner Cable Arena.

The almost 74,000-seat home of the Panthers, Charlotte’s professional football team, would make more skyboxes available for wealthy donors, as the committee strives to meet its $36.6 million fundraising goal.

The Obama administration has had a mixed relationship with Charlotte-based Bank of America Corp.

In May 2010, Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to Obama, praised Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan for having a “level of corporate responsibility beyond the bank.”

Criticism of Fee

Last October, Obama criticized a planned $5 dollar monthly fee that Bank of America was going to charge its debit card users. He said that while banks have a right to set fees, he questioned the bank’s explanation for the new charge.

“People have been using financial regulation as an excuse to charge consumers more,” Obama said at a White House news conference on Oct. 6. Following complaints from consumers, the bank shelved its plans to impose the fee.

Obama accepted the 2008 nomination before more than 80,000 people at Invesco Field in Denver, standing on a stage that evoked the architecture of the White House and ancient Greece.

Republicans mocked the setting. In her speech accepting the Republican vice presidential nomination the next week, Sarah Palin, referred to the “Styrofoam Greek columns” that would have to go “back to some studio lot.”

Obama isn’t the first candidate to accept the nomination at a large outdoor venue. In 1960, John F. Kennedy described a “New Frontier” at Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles before more than 50,000 people, and Franklin D. Roosevelt urged 100,000 listeners to seize their generation’s “rendezvous with destiny” at his 1936 speech at Franklin Field in Philadelphia.

--Editors: Joe Sobczyk, Bob Drummond

To contact the reporter on this story: Hans Nichols in Washington at hnichols2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net


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