Obama to accept nomination at Charlotte stadium

January 17, 2012 - 6:20 PM
Democrats Convention

Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, D-Fla. gestures during a news conference at Bank of America stadium in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012. President Barack Obama plans to accept the Democratic presidential nomination at Bank of America Stadium on the final day of his party's convention next summer. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — President Barack Obama plans to accept the Democratic presidential nomination in the open air of Bank of America Stadium on the final day of his party's convention here next summer, repeating a page from his 2008 convention playbook.

Democrats also announced Tuesday that the convention will be shortened from the traditional four days to three to have a day to celebrate the Carolinas, Virginia and the South. That celebration would take place on Monday, Sept. 3, which is Labor Day, at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The convention would run Tuesday through Thursday, with the first two days at the Time Warner Arena and the final day at Bank of America Stadium.

Obama will deliver his acceptance speech on Thursday, Sept. 6. Moving the speech to the 74,000-seat stadium, which is home to the NFL's Carolina Panthers, will allow thousands more activists and others to attend, officials said.

In 2008, Obama accepted the Democratic nomination under the open skies of Denver's Invesco Field.

"From the start, this convention has been about engaging more people in the process," said Democratic Party Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. "We saw in Denver in 2008 how holding the president's acceptance speech at Invesco Field allowed more American's to be part of the process and part of this experience."

"These people didn't donate any money. They weren't delegates. They were supporters from across the West who received community passes to attend. And we want to replicate that experience right here in Charlotte," said Wasserman Schultz, a Florida congresswoman.

Wasserman Schultz and other Democratic officials said they hope the changes create enough excitement to boost Obama's chances of winning North Carolina again. Obama won the state by 14,000 votes in 2008, the slimmest margin of all the states he carried, becoming the first Democrat since Jimmy Carter to carry the state.