60,000 Coloradans seek tickets for Obama speech
August 7, 2008
DENVER ” In less than 24 hours, some 60,000 Coloradans requested tickets to Barack Obama’s acceptance speech ” more than the number available to state residents, campaign officials said Thursday.
The campaign hasn’t said how many people in other states have sought tickets.
Democratic officials said this week that Coloradans will get roughly half the 75,000 seats for Obama’s Aug. 28 speech at Invesco Field at Mile High, the stadium where the Denver Broncos play.
They haven’t said exactly how many seats that is.
Officials said any other Coloradans who ask for tickets will be put on a waiting list.
About 20,000 requests were made in the first six hours after the ticket-distribution system was announced Wednesday. Many people calling in for tickets got only busy signals.
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“There’s been an incredible outpour of requests for credentials in Colorado,” said Matt Chandler, an Obama campaign spokesman.
The Web site for Coloradans to request tickets, http://co.barackobama.com/invesco, was slow Thursday, but one request was submitted successfully within five minutes. The phone number for Coloradans (888-468-7404) rang busy.
“The phones have been working all day. There has been a high volume of calls,” Chandler said. “The Web site is working just fine.”
Chandler did not have a breakdown of how many requests were made online and how many by phone.
Residents of other states were told to visit http://www.demconvention.com/invesco to find phone numbers where they could request credentials. Residents of several states were told to call 720-362-2500, which was answered by a voicemail message Thursday. Phone numbers for other states also were answered with voicemail messages.
The campaign said requests for tickets should be made before Tuesday, the day officials will start notifying those who get them. Tickets must be picked up in person and then activated online, in person or by phone by Aug. 19. Any tickets not activated will then go up for grabs to people on waiting lists.
Those seeking credentials have to show they have firm arrangements to get to Denver for the speech.
Convention officials have said even Republicans and independents can get tickets.
In New York, Manhattan resident Manesh Patel, 30, managed to get through on the phone to request a ticket but was still working the angles, including hitting up Obama supporters on Facebook and Craigslist for fear there won’t be enough to go around.
“It’s one of the most important elections I’ve seen in my generation,” said Patel, originally a self-described die-hard Hillary Clinton supporter. “Just to be a part of something like this is a no-brainer. It’s something I’d definitely like to be part of.”
He and his friends have already bought plane tickets to come to Denver, whether or not they get tickets.