Thursday, July 03, 2008

Will the 4th Night Be Held at Invesco Field?

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

This story may have more legs than what we originally thought. The LA Times had an article reporting that the Obama campaign may limit the convention to 3 nights. Now a tip from Marc Ambinder and a little digging in the DemConWatch archives leads to the possibility of holding the 4th night at Invesco Field at Mile High. Invesco is just across I-25 from the Pepsi Center and is within walking distance.

Barack Obama's campaign and the Democratic National Committee are toying with a convention scheduling change that has been broached before in theory but never seriously considered: cutting the party's conclave in Denver short by one day to give Obama an extra day of post-nomination bounce in the crowded August calendar.

For the last several decades -- when conventions became forums that merely rubber-stamp a presumptive nominee -- they have traditionally run from Monday through Thursday. Increasingly, both parties have struggled to offer something of interest during the first couple of convention nights, and the television networks have responded by dramatically reducing live coverage. The only truly significant event has been the nominee's acceptance speech, delivered during prime time on Thursday evening.

But Obama aides have floated the idea of ending the Denver convention on Wednesday, Aug. 27, instead of Thursday, Aug. 28. - LA Times
The article goes on to explain that having an extra day to campaign may be worth the trouble.

Host Committee Communications Director Chris Lopez told us today:
"We have no reason to believe that the convention would be shortened from 4 to 3 days. We're certainly flexible to anything Sen. Obama's campaign would like to change about Denver's hosting of the convention but we have no indication this is under consideration. In fact I believe the Obama campaign last night told the Denver Post that it looks forward to what will transpire in Denver on Thursday night."
Mayor Hickenlooper told the Denver News
"I can guarantee you that's not happening," Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper said, adding that, unless he hasn't been told about it, discussions Wednesday with officials from the Democratic National Convention Committee and the Obama campaign indicated both camps were planning for a full convention Aug. 25-28.
And Obama spokeswoman Shannon Gilson told them:
"Absolutely not. We think Thursday night in Denver will be very special," she said in an e-mail.
And Marc Ambinder weighs in with this...
My understanding is that the Obama campaign doesn't want to end the convention on Wednesday night, August 27... it's just that they want to do something different on Thursday -- possibly at a different venue. There'll be a conference call with news network execs soon to discuss this....
And Matt was on this possibility way back in March of 2006...
In the previous post, I wrote that Denver is reported to be considering proposing holding the last night of the convention, when the nominee speaks, at a different location than the previous 3 nights. I thought this was a crazy idea for the Denver bid from a logistical and cost viewpoint.

However, a source has told me that Dean has been dropping hints that he would like some sort of "public event" to close the convention week, which could, logically, be the nominee acceptance speech. (It could also just be a big rally the next day). So we may see all the cities come up with proposals like this, and my comment earlier saying "don't blame Dean for this" may have been premature.

And maybe there is a method to the madness. I understand that the goal is to get people to watch and listen to the speech on Thursday night, so maybe doing something "different" is the right approach. We shall see...
And here's what Matt's previous post said....
* Denver's bid would put most of the convention action at the Pepsi Center, with the final night at Invesco Field.
Update: Even Obama himself has denied the original 3-day story:
"That's not coming from our campaign," Obama said. "We expect we'll have the same four days that have been the tradition for a long time — four full days."