President Barack Obama will make a campaign stop at the nTelos Wireless Pavilion in Charlottesville on Wednesday. Doors open at 1:00 Wednesday afternoon and Obama is estimated to start rallying a crowd at 3:30.
On the planning side, a lot of steps have to be taken. Secret Service agents and Charlottesville police officers were at the pavilion for the rally Monday morning scoping things out.
The city of Charlottesville also announced Monday the closing of many of the buildings and streets surrounding the pavilion on Wednesday (the full list is below).
This week's stop is part of a campus tour for the president to energize young voters. He was supposed to speak at the university, but location issues and security costs forced the University of Virginia to decline.
"It definitely would have been a bigger turnout if it was on grounds," said Camilla Griffith, a fourth-year student at UVA.
Griffith says from health insurance to student loans, there is a lot at stake for people her age. "I hope he is able to say something to really get their spirits up," she said. "Get them thinking that their vote is important because it is."
People stood in line throughout the day Sunday and Monday to get their hands on free tickets. The campaign won't say how many tickets will be given out.
Charlottesville Democratic Co-chair Jim Nix said, "They sent us a great many tickets for this event. I don't know how many, but we have a good number and the process takes time."
As of Monday afternoon, tickets are still available. The Obama campaign says tickets will be handed out Tuesday from noon to 8 p.m..
Wednesday will be the third time Obama has spoken at the pavilion. When Obama campaigned on behalf of then-Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010, 5,000 people packed the venue with thousands more out along the downtown mall. That stop set Albemarle County back $12,802.44 for local protection and Charlottesville back $19,573. The Perriello campaign reimbursed both localities.
While Obama was a Democratic candidate in 2008, he also spoke at the pavilion; costs for that trip are unknown.
When President George W. Bush came to speak at Monticello in July 2008, his trip cost Albemarle County $23,000, which was not reimbursed.
We should expect similar costs for Obama's Wednesday trip that we saw in 2010, but this time it does not look like Albemarle County or Charlottesville will get reimbursed.
Press Release from the City of Charlottesville
Please be advised of the following changes to parking, traffic and city office hours on Wednesday August 29th due to the presidential visit.
The City Hall Annex Building will close at 11:00 am. This closure will affect the following city offices:
Parks and Recreation
City Hall will remain open; however access to the building will only be available via the Market Street entrance or the 6th Street entrance. The main entrance to the building located on the downtown mall and the 7th Street entrance will be closed all day.
The Key Recreation Center will be closed all day Wednesday.
The Downtown Transit Center and the Charlottesville/Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau Visitors Center will close at noon.
Charlottesville Area Transit (CAT) service will be detoured as follows:
The downtown station (Transit Center) will close at noon and will reopen once the event is over and roads are open to traffic.
All stops on Market Street between Ridge/McIntire and 9th Street NE will not be serviced beginning at noon.
All stops on Water Street between Ridge/McIntire and 10th Street NE will not be serviced beginning at noon with the exception of the Omni Hotel stop on Water Street.
Routes affected will be the FREE TROLLEY, 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10.
Due to heavy traffic, delays are expected
Road Closures will begin at noon and are as follows:
Water Street at 4th Street SE
Water Street at 10th Street NE
9th Street SE at Graves Street
9th Street SE at Levy Street
East Market Street at 9th Street NE
The 700 Block of East Market Street at 7th Street NE
The Market Street and Water Street Parking Garages will operate as normal. Visitors are encouraged to park in the garages as street parking will be limited.
Tickets are available at the following locations:
OFA-VA Downtown Charlottesville Field Office 407 E Main Street Charlottesville, VA 22902
Additional ticket pick-up sites OFA-VA Albemarle Field Office 335 Greenbrier Drive, Suite 206 Charlottesville, VA 22901