Coloradans get half of Invesco seats for DNC

By Stephanie Clary
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

More than half of the seats in Invesco Field at Mile High will be reserved for Colorado residents on Aug. 28, when Sen. Barack Obama accepts the Democratic nomination, Democratic National Convention Committee officials announced Wednesday, Aug. 6.

How to apply for “community credentials”:

• Visit co.barackobama.com/invesco, call 888-468-7404 or visit one of nine Colorado for Change offices to apply. You will be asked for basic contact information and a plan on how you will get to Denver on Aug. 28.

• Beginning Aug. 12, those who have been selected to attend Invesco for the final night of the convention will be contacted by the Colorado Campaign for Change. Credential pickup information will be provided and the office will ask those with credentials to verify their travel arrangements. People who apply but aren’t selected will be placed on a wait list.

• Recipients then need to pick up their credentials and activate their barcodes via an online form, in-person or with a phone call in order to get access to the stadium.

• Starting Aug. 20, unactivated credentials will be offered to those on the wait list.

“With the bulk of credentials going to Colorado residents, we want to take this opportunity here today to talk to you about what this means for the state of Colorado and how the process will work here locally,” CEO of the DNCC Leah Daughtry said during a press conference at the stadium.

Residents have until Aug. 12 to visit co.barackobama.com/invesco, call 888-468-7404 or stop by one of nine Colorado for Change offices to apply for tickets to attend the acceptance speech on the final night of the convention, which begins Aug. 25. Officials said Democrats, independents and Republicans all are welcome
to apply.

“Because there is so much interest, we want to announce right now, start making your calls immediately. Go online immediately,” urged former Denver Mayor Federico Peña, an Obama campaign co-chairman. He said the tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

When applying, residents will be asked if they want to volunteer for the Obama campaign, which would open the possibility of gaining all-star seating. The committee, however, said volunteering is not a prerequisite for credentials.

Starting Aug. 12, those selected to attend the event will be contacted by a Colorado Campaign for Change office. Recipients must verify their arrangements for transportation to the stadium because the DNCC wants make sure each seat in the 75,000-capacity venue is occupied.

Two-thirds of the “community credentials” will go to other states that are in the Rocky Mountain West, officials said. Those credentialed for the Pepsi Center and the Obama campaign will also have credentials for the final night of the DNC. The 6,000 delegates attending will be seated on the field.

Other U.S. states, territories and Washington, D.C., will receive a certain number of the remaining Invesco credentials based on a formula that takes into account their proximity to Denver and Democratic leadership, among other things, Daughtry said.

On July 7, the DNCC confirmed the Illinois senator would be moving the convention’s final night from the 21,000-capacity Pepsi Center to the much larger home of the Broncos.

After announcement of the switch, few details on media logistics and credentials were released. At the Aug. 6 press conference, it became clear that all the media’s questions about credentials would not be answered.

For example, one reporter asked how the DNCC intended to keep people from reselling their credentials or giving them to others.

Daughtry responded that these were “more details than we were going to get into today,” but said residents with tickets would have to activate their bar codes before being allowed inside the stadium. She added that the committee would void any codes of tickets up for resale and said the committee hopes people won’t distribute credentials.

When she was asked to elaborate on how the voiding process will work, a member of the committee’s public affairs team was heard telling the media “thank you,” signaling the press conference was over.

This was the second DNC-related ticketing announcement made in one week. Daughtry and Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper released details on how students and 5,000 local residents could be the first to see the Pepsi Center’s completed transformation into the DNC’s main convention hall on Aug. 22. Tours featuring the stage and podium inside the areana’s bowl will be available that day for those who obtain free tickets.

The tours were signed up to capacity within 24 hours of the announcement.