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Democrats Cancel Convention Kickoff at Speedway, Move It Downtown

Money to blame?

RALEIGH, N.C. (The Blaze/AP) -- Organizers of a celebration scheduled to kick off the Democratic National Convention are moving the Labor Day event from Charlotte Motor Speedway to the city's downtown.

Charlotte host committee spokeswoman Suzi Emmerling said late Monday that as the date of the event drew closer, logistics became a challenge. Emmerling said moving the celebration to downtown Charlotte near the convention venue would make it more accessible and family friendly. The speedway is about 18 miles outside the city.

But according to Bloomberg News, moving the event away from the speedway may be a matter of money:

While the Democrats will receive a $50 million grant from the Department of Homeland Security to defray police costs for the Sept 4-6 convention, security for the Speedway festival may not be eligible because the event isn’t part of the official convention proceedings. With a party ban on direct contributions from corporations, the host committee has raised less than $10 million, well short of its $36.6 million goal, said one of the people. [*]

The convention has already been shortened from the traditional four days to three to have a day to “to make room for a day to organize and celebrate the Carolinas, Virginia and the South and kick off the convention at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Labor Day," it was announced in January.

The convention is being held at Charlotte's Time Warner Arena. President Barack Obama's nomination acceptance speech on Sept. 6 is scheduled for Bank of America Stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers. Both arenas are in downtown Charlotte.

*Republicans will also receive $50 million to defray security costs for their convention.

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