Covelli expects ‘a full house’ for Obama, Clinton

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By David Skolnick


It isn’t the concert of the year, but a decent crowd is expected to line up outside the Covelli Centre today for tickets to attend a major political event.

People will be waiting in line for passes for Monday’s rally with President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton.

Ticket distribution begins at noon.

“For certain, there will be a line,” said Eric Ryan, the center’s executive director. “It’s an historic event. We’re looking forward to a full house.”

While the campaign is still working on the logistics, about 5,000 to 6,000 tickets will be available, Ryan said.

The ticket distribution will be handled by the campaign, which will set up a table in the lobby of the center’s box office at 229 E. Front St.

It is one ticket per person on a first-come, first-served basis, according to the campaign.

Also, tickets will be available starting at 1 p.m. at the Obama field offices in Boardman at 4300 Market St. and in Warren at 155 S. Park Ave.

This is the first time since the Democratic National Convention that Obama and Clinton are campaigning together.

The campaign paid the regular rental fee for the center, said Ryan, who declined Thursday to disclose that amount.

There will be no charge for parking, and the concession stands won’t be opened for the rally.

On Monday, the doors will open at 2:30 p.m. for the rally. The campaign hasn’t said when the rally will start.

Obama and Clinton will travel Monday to political events in Youngstown along with Orlando, Fla., and Prince William County, Va., in three of the key swing states in this presidential election.

The visit comes eight days before the Nov. 6 general election.

It is Obama’s second campaign visit to the Mahoning Valley this year. He made stops July 6 in Boardman and Poland.

The Covelli Centre has Youngstown Phantoms hockey games on Friday night and Sunday afternoon with a Disney “Phineas and Ferb” show Saturday.

“We have a crew of about 75 ready to set up for the rally as soon as the hockey game ends Sunday,” Ryan said. “It’s crazy, but it is very exciting.”

Also, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former chief of staff, is coming Sunday afternoon to Youngstown to campaign on behalf of the president.

Plans for Emanuel haven’t been finalized.

Meanwhile, the lane closures on Interstate 680 will remain in place Monday and throughout the rest of construction season, said Brent Kovacs, Ohio Department of Transportation District 4 spokesman.

The exits at South Avenue and Market Street and the stretch on interstate between them have lane restrictions. I-680 northbound is down to two lanes, but has also been restricted this week to one lane, while I-680 southbound is down to one lane. The speed limit on the portion of I-680 has been reduced from 50 miles per hour to 40 mph.

“When the president comes through, they will take all construction equipment off the road, but the construction zones, cones and barrels will remain,” Kovacs said.

Kovacs said ODOT is not given prior notification of when the president will be on the interstate.

Contributor: Ashley Luthern

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