CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Democratic officials are moving President Barack Obama's convention speech Thursday to Time Warner Cable Arena because of the possibility of severe weather.
Obama had planned to accept his party's nomination at Bank of America Stadium before a crowd of up to 74,000 people.
But Obama officials said forecasters have predicted severe thunderstorms in the 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. hour, raising concerns about the safety of supporters, volunteers, staff members and law enforcement.
“It was really a public safety issue. We wanted to make sure that people are safe," said DNCC CEO Steve Kerrigan. “It’s somewhat upsetting for so many folks.”
Officials said Thursday's entire program would be moved indoors, including Vice President Joe Biden's speech. The events will be held at the Time Warner Cable Arena, the site of the first two days of the convention proceedings.
It’s heartbreaking," Kerrigan added.
The move with will significantly reduce the number of people Obama will speak to in person.
Kerrigan said more than 65,000 people had signed up for credentials to attend the outdoor speech but now could not be accommodated because of the smaller venue. He said organizers were encouraging those credential holders and "Americans across the country to continue to come together with their friends and neighbors to watch and participate in history."
Kerrigan said Obama would speak to those credential holders on a national conference call Thursday afternoon. "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," he said.
“There’s some program changes but we are working on those now," he added, but noted Democrats are still pleased with how things are going.
“It’s going to be the same speech. And that’s what people are looking forward to hearing," said a smiling Kerrigan. “This convention could not be going any better than it is right now.”