Everyone has a right to be upset about the change in venue. Trust me, delegates are also a bit troubled by the news. However, I can understand why the DNC felt the need to change the venue based on weather circumstances. A lot of comments I’m reading and hearing from both sides are legitimate, but I feel, misdirected.
For every person that says it should be at the stadium rain or shine, there is another person who would be angry about sitting in a rainstorm and being subjected to illness because of it. There are a lot of older and special needs attendees where attending in those circumstances would be I’ll advised. Having been caught in one heavy downpour on Monday, I’m in no hurry to do it again.
My point, though, is that the real issue is not that the location is being moved, but where it is being moved to. Would the level of disappointment be as high if the Time Warner Cable arena held the same capacity as the Bank of America stadium? The answer would be “no”. The disappointment comes from the 50,000 seat/capacity difference between the two locations.
Thus, this is where my disappointment resides. Despite other arguments one way or another about whether the DNC should have been hosted here in the first place, the committee should have picked a place where there’d be a contingency location that could accommodate the needs of the original space. It doesn’t seem as though this option was given enough merit in the vetting of host cities. If you’re having the main event in a facility without a dome, then a backup location that has one and could hold a similar number of people should have been a serious consideration. This is specifically important of weather issues during that time of year are feasible.
While I can deal, begrudgingly, with the traffic issues we’ve had in Charlotte, I wouldn’t have discounted it completely as a bad choice for the convention. The overall hospitality here has been great with merchants and public safety personnel. However, this incomplete contingency plan leads me to feel otherwise and leaves an undeserved negative memory on this city that could have been prevented with better planning.