Obama campaign makes it official: Election Night ‘watch party’ in Chicago

Patrick Svitek, Online Managing Editor

President Barack Obama will appear at an Election Night “watch party” at McCormick Place in Chicago, his re-election campaign announced earlier this week.

The official venue selection came after several reports that Obama’s team was considering the downtown convention center for an Election Night event. The president also hinted at it in a recent fundraising email.

It remains unclear who will be able to attend the Nov. 6 event, but all signs point to a scaled-back version of Obama’s Election Night rally four years ago. That citywide celebration brought more than 150,000 people to Grant Park to hear the president-elect’s rousing victory speech.

Campaign officials say the McCormick Place election party will “not be designed to try to recreate the massive Grant Park gathering,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported earlier this month.

Obama’s team has reserved McCormick Place’s Lakeside Center, which is “ideally suited to serve mid-sized meeting and exhibitions,” according to the convention center’s website.

Obama’s opponent, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, will be spending Election Night at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

Obama’s most recent visit to Chicago was last week, when he dropped in for less than three hours to cast an early ballot in the presidential race and visit a field office on the South Side.

— Patrick Svitek