Disappointed volunteers: 'Still happy to be a part of history' - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Disappointed volunteers: 'Still happy to be a part of history'

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Hundreds of volunteers and those who received community credentials were met with a crushing disappointment at the news they would not get to see President Barack Obama give his acceptance speech at Bank of America Stadium Thursday night.

On Wednesday campaign the Obama campaign said the threat of severe weather forced them to switch venues. In fact, a heavy downpour of rain, mixed with some lightning, moved through Uptown around 3pm.

Officials scrambled to organize an official viewing party at the convention center for the hundreds of volunteers who had "guaranteed" credentials to see Obama speak.

While they were initially disappointed, many told us that feeling quickly faded.

"Just to be a part of it is really electrifying even though we're standing in front of our president," said Susan Robinson, who traveled all the way from Philadelphia for the DNC.

Stephanie Franz, another volunteer, agreed.

"I felt like I wanted to be a part of the energy with kindred spirits and that we could still celebrate the nomination together," she said.

But many who registered their community credentials say they didn't receive any advance warnings not to show up.

Sharon, from Raleigh, went to the arena around noon Thursday and was turned away. She told WBTV she "drove a far way" and didn't know about the changes.

Some knew their credentials were no good but showed up hoping to get in the arena, anyway. 

Bless Byjah of Raleigh came with her husband.

She says "we heard it on the news at the last minute. We're disappointed. We've come so far and we're so close that I just had to come personally to see the arena."

When asked if she thought she could try to get in, Byjah said "it's worth a try for Obama."

WBTV was on the floor shortly before the President addressed supporters and caught up with some people who were able to get in to see the speech.
 
"The view is great. Perfect! We couldn't have asked for a better spot, and especially when it's your first convention," said Colorado delegate Norma Becco.
 
While Becco sat inside, watching President Obama, over a hundred people with Time Warner Cable Arena passes sat outside, after security officials closed the building.

Sources tell WBTV it was at capacity. Some folks were eventually let in, while others went home to watch the speech.
 
"I would have liked to go in and hear him speak," said Rosa Rory.

The President held a conference call with community credential holders who were not able to see the President because of the venue change.

WBTV spoke with musician James Taylor, who came to Charlotte, ready to play inside the stadium. He played at the smaller arena instead Thursday afternoon.
 
"It had to be called sometime yesterday afternoon, and that is unfortunate, so hopefully that won't dampen our spirits," Taylor said.

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