Video: Barack Obama superstar?

updated 7/8/2008 11:43:10 AM ET 2008-07-08T15:43:10

In a break with tradition, Barack Obama will accept the Democratic presidential nomination in Denver at Invesco Field at Mile High, a 76,000-seat stadium, instead of the Pepsi Center, site of the party's national convention.

"For us to be able to do it in Invesco Field is an opportunity for 80,000 people who might otherwise not have been able to participate to get involved," Obama said in St. Louis.

With the move, Obama will emulate John F. Kennedy, the last candidate in either party to deliver an acceptance speech in a large outdoor stadium before a crowd of tens of thousands. Kennedy spoke at the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1960.

The decision was announced as party chairman Howard Dean batted away questions about delayed work and reported cost-overruns at the Pepsi Center, where Democrats will hold their convention Aug. 25-28.

Last month, the convention's host committee reported it was nearly $12 million short of the $40.6 million it had pledged to raise for the effort. Host committee members spoke openly of needing the Obama campaign's help to close the gap.

Dean said the convention was operating on budget, and Obama senior adviser Anita Dunn said the campaign was helping.

"The fact that the nomination was not decided until the beginning of June — clearly many donors would have hung back a little to see if the candidate of their choice was going to get the nomination," Dunn said.

Separately, one official confirmed that Obama's aides were attempting to arrange a speech at a second dramatic venue: Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, part of his July trip to Europe and the Middle East.

The Gate was the site of one of Ronald Reagan's most memorable speeches. On a trip in July 1987, Reagan stood before throngs of West Berliners and implored then Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall dividing the city. The wall no longer exists.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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