CHARLOTTE, NC (WSOC) -- President Barack Obama will speak at Bank of America stadium during the 2012 Democratic National Convention in September, planning members of the convention said Tuesday.
DNC committee officials said Obama will take the stage at the stadium on the last day of the convention to accept the nomination of the Democratic Party. Tickets for the event will be free.
According to officials, holding the event at the larger venue will help organizers achieve their vision of an open, accessible convention, officials said.
However, political expert Dr. Michael Bitzer said the move could come at a notable cost for the president. "The stigma that is attached to Bank of America and the issues of the economy really are going to step on any kind of message that he wants to get out," he said.
Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the DNC chairwoman, said the name on the building would not matter because it was a free event and Obama had a record of fighting for changes in the financial sector on Wall Street.
Officials also said the convention program would be shortened from the traditional four days to three. DNC Committee CEO Steve Kerrigan said the convention will be shortened to "make room for a day to organize and celebrate the Carolinas, Virginia and the South" with a convention kickoff at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Labor Day.