Update: 12:45 p.m.
Discussions are in the works to move Hillary Clinton’s presidential nomination acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention away from the Wells Fargo Center to a larger location, Billy Penn has learned.
Philly Congressman Bob Brady said nothing has been finalized but “there’s talk about it.
“It’s a good idea by the way, too,” said Brady, who is honorary vice chair of the DNC. “It engages people and gets people involved.”
He then referenced President Barack Obama’s acceptance speech in 2008, when Obama became the first African-American to be nominated for the nation’s highest office. The convention that year was held at Denver’s Pepsi Center, which seats 18,000 — similar to Wells Fargo Center. But Obama’s speech on the final night was shifted to Denver’s football stadium, Invesco Field. A crowd of 84,000 was estimated, more than four times the amount the Pepsi Center could hold. Members of the public were able to get tickets mostly by volunteering their time for the Democratic Party.
Morgan Finkelstein, deputy press secretary for the Democratic National Convention Committee, denied there were discussions of moving Clinton’s speech: “This is absolutely incorrect. There is no talk of changing venue. The Convention will take place in the Wells Fargo Arena from Monday through Thursday and any speculation to the contrary is misinformed.”
The Wells Fargo Center seats 19,500, and most of the space will be taken up by delegates and media. Citizens Bank Park accommodates just under 44,000. The Linc holds just under 70,000. Brady believes a larger audience will want to watch the nomination of the nation’s first female presidential candidate.
“When you make an acceptance speech, if you make it at the Wells Fargo Center,” Brady said, “you’re preaching to the choir I’d imagine.”
A spokesperson for the Phillies said no inquiries had yet been made into usage for the DNC. Contacted by Billy Penn, a representative for the Eagles said the team was looking into the matter.
The DNC takes place July 25-28, with most events happening at the Wells Fargo Center or the Convention Center. Clinton’s acceptance speech is scheduled for the final night.