CONVENTION HALL: CLOSED

AP News
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Posted: Sep 06, 2012 8:52 PM
CONVENTION HALL: CLOSED

For the second night in a row, Democratic convention officials have ashut down both entrances to the convention hall a few hours before the main speakers took the stage.

The doors opened Wednesday in time for attendees to see Bill Clinton. People outside Thursday are hopeful it will happen again before President Barack Obama spoke.

Authorities stationed at the gates are refusing to answer questions. Some in the crowd say they've been told the arena was full. Others say fire marshals are just counting how many were inside before letting more people in.

The fire marshal ordered the doors shut just after 8 p.m. Convention organizers say the arena is set up to accommodate 15,000 for Obama's remarks. Of course, that's a far smaller crowd than had been expected at the 74,000-seat outdoor stadium where Obama hads planned to accept the nomination. Obama cited the potential for severe weather as the reason for the switch.

Outside the convention hall, Kentucky delegate Colmon Elridge got stuck after coming outside to give a credentials to a friend. "If I don't get back in, that's OK. It's been a lot of fun. And out here I'm surrounded by like-minded people and I'm making new friends," Elridge said.

People at both checkpoints are calm, although they are massed at the gate at one and in a line more than 100 people deep at the other.

— Jeffrey Collins and Julie Pace — Twitter http://twitter.com/JSCollinsAP and http://twitter.com/jpaceDC

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