Everything to Know About President Obama's Farewell Speech in Chicago Tuesday - NBC Chicago
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Everything to Know About President Obama's Farewell Speech in Chicago Tuesday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NOTE: NBC Chicago will offer a live stream of the speech beginning at 8 p.m. Tuesday right here.

    As Chicago prepares to host President Barack Obama for his farewell address Tuesday, there are some things city residents and those attending the speech should know. 

    The highly-anticipated address comes less than two weeks before President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration. 

    Here are somethings to know about Obama's visit and speech:

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    TIMELINE OF EVENTS

    Doors at the McCormick Place open at 5 p.m. and attendees are encouraged to arrive at or before that time. Those arriving late may not be permitted to attend. 

    The farewell address is scheduled to take place 8 p.m. CT. and is expected to be followed by a "family reunion" for Obama's former campaign staffers, according to a notice sent to Obama alumni and obtained by The Associated Press.

    WHAT CAN YOU BRING?

    All attendees will be subject to "airport-like security" and should bring as few personal iterms as possible. Bags, sharp objects, umbrellas, liguids, and signs will not be allowed in the venue.

    Attire for the event is casual, according to the White House's website. 

    HOW TO WATCH THE SPEECH LIVE

    Whether you're at work, on the go or at home you can watch complete coverage of the speech live on NBC 5 or on the NBC Chicago app right here. We will offer a live stream beginning at 8 p.m. online and on-air. The coverage will continue until the speech ends.

    TICKET INFORMATION

    Thousands of people lined up first thing Saturday morning to get free tickets to the event- so many that officials said tickets were no longer available before distribution even began.

    Hundreds of tickets have since made their way to the online marketplace, some being sold for thousands of dollars apiece ahead of the historic address. It remains unclear, however, if those tickets are legitimate or if they can legally be sold. 

    The Better Business Bureau warned hopeful attendees Monday to beware of scams surrounding the secondary ticket sales.

    "If you buy tickets to see Barak [sic] Obama's farewell address Tuesday evening in Chicago, you may be saying farewell to your hard earned money instead of the president," CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois Steve Bernas said in a statement. 

    Bernas warned against buying the tickets online saying "there's no way to verify these tickets, and unquestionably people are going to be showing up and being turned away because of scam tickets."

    ABOUT THE SPEECH

    Obama, in a written statement released last week, explained that the American people have helped him lead during his presidency, a theme he plans to highlight in his speech.

    "I'm thinking about [my remarks] as a chance to say thank you for this amazing journey, to celebrate the ways you've changed this country for the better these past eight years, and to offer some thought on where we all go from here," he wrote.

    The sitting president offered encouragement to his fellow Americans, who he said have hit obstacles since he took office.

    "Since 2009, we've faced our fair share of challenges, and come through them stronger," he said. "That's because we have never let go of a belief that has guided us ever since our founding — our conviction that, together, we can change this country for the better.

    The U.S. president's farewell address, Obama noted, is a tradition that dates back to 1796, when George Washington said goodbye to Americans before transferring power to his successor, John Adams.

    HOW TO GET THERE

    Officials are encouraging attendees to take public transportation to the event, noting that presidential security measures will be in place. 

    The Chicago Transit Authority said longer trains will operate on the Green Line from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. More frequent service will also be available on the No. 3 King Drive route from 4-7 p.m, according to the transit agency. 

    The Cermak station sits roughly three blocks west of McCormick Place. Riders using Red, Brown, Orange and Blue line trains can transfer to the Green Line at the following locations:

    Red and Orange Lines: Transfer at Roosevelt and board a 63rd-bound (either Ashland/63rd or Cottage Grove) Green Line train to Cermak-McCormick Place.

    Blue Line: Transfer at Clark/Lake (fare card required) and board a 63rd-bound Green Line train from the Loop Elevated platform.

    Brown and Pink Lines: Transfer to 63rd-bound Green Line trains can be made at the Clark/Lake, State/Lake and Adams/Wabash Loop Elevated stations.

    The CTA is urging customers to purchase fares in advance to "decrease travel times and avoid long lines at rail station vending machines."

    For those who are driving, here is a look at directions from the McCormick Place website.

    Approaching from the north:

    If approaching McCormick Place from the north, using the Kennedy Expressway (I-90/94), consider exiting at 18th Street, heading east over to State Street, turning south onto State Street to Cermak Road, then traveling east on Cermak Road over to McCormick Place.

    Approaching from the west:

    If approaching McCormick Place from the west, using the Eisenhower Expressway (I-290), consider exiting on Damen or Ashland Avenue, heading south to Cermak Road, then traveling east on Cermak Road over to McCormick Place.

    Approaching from the south:

    * If approaching McCormick Place from the south, using the Dan Ryan Expressway (I-90/94), consider exiting on 31st Street, heading east to King Drive, then traveling north on King Drive to McCormick Place South, North and West Buildings, along with Parking Lot A. You can also continue east on 31st Street to Moe Drive to access our Truck Marshalling Lot and Parking Lot B. Finally, you can continue to drive east on 31st Street over the bridge to Ft. Dearborn Drive to access Lakeside Center and Parking Lot C.

    Approaching inbound on the Stevenson Expressway:

    If approaching McCormick Place inbound on the Stevenson Expressway (I-55), consider using the ramp leading to the southbound Dan Ryan Expressway (I-90/94), exiting on 31st Street, heading east to King Drive, then traveling north on King Drive to McCormick Place South, North and West Buildings, along with Parking Lot A. You can also continue east on 31st Street to Moe Drive to access our Truck Marshalling Lot and Parking Lot B. Finally, you can continue to drive east on 31st Street over the bridge to Ft. Dearborn Drive to access Lakeside Center and Parking Lot C.

    Approaching on Lake Shore Drive:

    If approaching McCormick Place from either northbound or southbound Lake Shore Drive, exit the Drive at the 31st Street (3100 South) Exit. From there, follow the signs to Park in our 31st Street Surface Parking Lot B, our Lakeside Center Underground Parking Lot C, or continue west on 31st Street over to King Drive. Make a right onto northbound King Drive and proceed about 5 blocks to enter our Parking Garage Lot A.

    TRAFFIC INFORMATION

    The president is expected to arrive at O'Hare International Airport during the early evening hours but it remains unclear how he will be traveling to the event from there.

    He may take a helicopter and land near Soldier Field. If that happens, he could then motorcade to McCormick Place, which would in turn cause rolling street closures in the area. 

    He could also motorcade to the event from the airport, which would also cause rolling street closures on whichever route he chooses to take. 

    Chicago's Museum Campus institutions will close at 2 p.m. ahead of anticipated traffic in the area. 

    Admission to the Adler Planetarium and Shedd Aquarium will end at 1:15 p.m. and at 1 p.m. at the Field Museum. 

    Obama will not stay in Chicago following the event, and is expected to return to Washington D.C. that evening.

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