Tickets For Obama Rally Gone

Campaign asks for volunteers to get out vote on Nov. 4

Local supporters of Barack Obama may be disappointed to learn that the tickets announced as mandatory for the candidate's Election Night rally at Grant Park are, apparently, gone.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, who is predicting that as many as a million people will show up at Barack Obama's Election Night event in Grant Park, said he's concerned about the logistics of the event but that it's "going to be wonderful."

Obama's campaign announced Tuesday that a ticket will be required for the rally. The campaign sent an e-mail inviting only supporters from Obama's home state of Illinois, but those tickets, which were made available on the Obama web site, were gone by Wednesday morning.  

The campaign announced that the gates to the Hutchinson Field event will open at 8:30 p.m. next Tuesday, but only ticketholders will get in. 

"One section will have tickets, on Columbus and Balbo and all that, those are all standing room, I mean, that's all the way back," Daley said.

It's unclear how many people were invited, but city officials have said the area can hold between 60,000 and 70,000 people.

So, if you don't have late-night plans for Nov. 4, the Obama campaign is urging those who can take the day off to help get the vote out during the day.

There was actually a time when few people worked on Election Day. Times have changed.

The campaign is asking workers and students who have the option to request Election Day off and volunteer in their get-out-the-vote effort.

"Can you take Tuesday off from work? Talk to your boss. Talk to your professors and ask for the day off," an e-mail and video sent out by the campaign say.

The city is working with the Obama campaign and a private security firm. The plans are secret, but even those Chicago firefighters and paramedics that are scheduled to be off-duty next Tuesday are being ordered to take their gear home with them, in case they are called in for an emergency.

"Like anything else, in celebrations, you have to worry about the safety of people. If someone got sick there, or if someone had a heart attack, or something, what do you do in big crowds? How do you get them out? And so, in a big celebration like that, that's what you do," Daley said. 

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