CHICAGO (CBS) – There won’t be a repeat of President Barack Obama’s massive Election Night rally at Grant Park this year, as the campaign is planning to hold this year’s rally at McCormick Place.
CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports a highly-placed Obama campaign source revealed the decision Wednesday afternoon. The rally this year will be smaller, but safer than the 2008 victory party.
Obama’s Election Night party in 2008 was outdoors, when hundreds of thousands of supporters packed Grant Park to celebrate the election of the nation’s first African-American president.
But the Obama campaign got lucky that the weather cooperated four years ago, and this year organizers have decided to move the Election Night party indoors, with a contract in the works to use McCormick Place.
Just a few weeks ago, Obama’s speech on the final night of the Democratic National Convention had to be moved indoors, due to the threat of thunderstorms.
Security was also a consideration for holding the event indoors.
The Secret Service weighed in on the decision, in favor of a venue where they kept scores of world leaders safe during the NATO Summit.
As a result of the move to McCormick Place, organizers expect a crowd of about 10,000 people to attend the rally, compared to the 250,000 who celebrated in Grant Park in 2008.
It is expected the president will spend the early part of Election Day campaigning in battleground states, before flying to Chicago sometime that afternoon or evening. His Republican rival, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, will hold his Election Day rally in Boston.