I-Team

Intelligence Report: Where will Obama's election night event take place?

Friday, October 05, 2012

Before the presidential debate, when the opinion polls had President Obama with a clear lead, his campaign may have been tempted to organize an election night mega-fest similar.

As of Friday, that plan is not in the works.

While President Obama does intend to be in Chicago on election night, where he celebrated his historic victory in 2008, he apparently will not make a return appearance in Grant Park, where he rallied 70,000 adoring fans.

And, despite reports that the campaign was looking at Cellular Field for November 6th election night festivities, win-or-lose, sources familiar with the planning process say the venue is off the list.

Chicago Park District officials say they have not been contacted by the Obama campaign, which rules out Grant Park, Millennium Park, Soldier Field and the Midway Plaisance at University of Chicago in Hyde Park.

The venues that could hold 50,000 or more people have not been secured, and it appears as though the Obama campaign is moving very deliberately before locking in a location.

According to officials at McCormick Place, there has been no communication with the campaign. Executives at the United Center, the UIC Pavilion and Wrigley Field say they have not been contacted, either.

Large suburban venues contacted by the I-Team also report that they are not under consideration for an Obama election night event. This includes the the Allstate Arena in Rosemont-- where the circus has already been confirmed.

So the question is: if there is going to be a celebration, where will it take place? A spokeswoman for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who was Obama's Chief of Staff for a time, says that "a site hasn't been nailed down yet."

Although the campaign won't discuss anything related to election night in Chicago, the template for how this is being handled may be Obama's acceptance speech at the nominating convention. Originally set for a large outdoor stadium in Denver, it was moved into the much smaller convention hall.

The stated reason was incoming bad weather-- but underlying the decision may have been a fear of empty seats.

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i-team, chuck goudie
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