Tickets, Security, and Transportation Hot Topics for Obama's Election-Night Rally

By Jenny Berg October 30, 2008, 1:35 PM EDT

Mayor Richard Daley speculated on Wednesday morning that Obama's election-night rally in Grant Park will draw 1 million people, but he made this prediction before learning that event access will be limited to ticket holders. According to The Chicago Sun-Times, the Obama campaign sent out an email to supporters on Tuesday, stating that guests will have to present tickets and photo ID for admission into Hutchinson Field on November 4. An application attached to the email required aspiring ticket-holders to fill in their names, addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers; official, printable tickets will be emailed back to successful applicants before the rally.

No shocker here: Tickets ran out with astonishing speed, and The Chicago Tribune reported that Obama supporters have (unsuccessfully) turned to Craigslist and eBay to try to score admission. The Tribune news item, which broke at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, put attendance at 7,500 “participants,” such as members of the media and rally workers, and 65,000 spectators.

The Tribune also provided details from a permit application that event organizer C3 Presents filed with the city on Wednesday. The application reveals that the rally will not feature any live musical acts or alcohol, though hot dog, pizza, and hot chocolate vendors will be in no short supply. Event organizers have requested permission to use amplified sound until 1 a.m.

On the security front: The Sun-Times reported this week that retired Chicago Police Department security-planning expert Neil Sullivan will help with the rally's logistics, but Daley said on Wednesday: “We're not gonna be screening people going to the park. That is up to the Secret Service.” In response, a spokeswoman for the Chicago field office of the U.S. Secret Service, Kristina Schmidt, said: “Any event that is covered by the Secret Service for a presidential nominee is typically secured and swept prior to the arrival of the protectee.” Schmidt refused to disclose any more information.

In terms of public transportation, the Chicago Transit Authority will likely add buses and trains to achieve the same level of service that the city sees for the big fireworks show on July 3, and Metra will take measures such as providing extra train service into the city early Tuesday evening.

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