Many Ticket Holders Turned Away from Obama Campaign Stop
6,600 people inside the MACC at Kent State listened to the president campaign Wednesday
Untold hundreds more who held tickets to the event were turned away at the door on Wednesday.
One Kent resident, who asked not to be identified, said he waited in line for two hours on Monday with his wife and two children when campaign officials and volunteers were distributing tickets for the rally.
He then took his two children out of school Wednesday for the rally, and they all stood in the rain on the Kent State campus for about two and-a-half hours waiting to see the president before they were turned away.
"My kids handled it OK, but I saw some very upset individuals in front of the MAC center," he said. "We are extremely bummed we couldn't get in and wonder just how many tickets were distributed and how many ticket holders were turned away — and why such a miscalculation."
The university provided spill-over space in the Kent State Student Center Ballroom, so people who didn't make it into the MACC could watch the rally on TV.
Campaign officials would not say how many tickets were distributed for the rally and did not respond to a request for comment for this story.
Leading up to the event campaign officials stressed the fact a ticket was required to enter. Each ticket included a disclosure statement advising holders the ticket did not guarantee entry to the event.
But some who attended the event said they were never asked to show their ticket in order to enter the MACC.
Kent resident Todd Fisher was one of those who got into the MACC but was never asked to show a ticket.
"No one ever asked to see my ticket," Fisher said. "How many folks got inside without a ticket? I felt so bad for those people who waited in line to get their tickets early Monday morning only to be turned away and funneled into the Kent State Ballroom to watch the president on a big screen."
Sheila Francis said that, like many people, she had her ticket and stood in line for three hours waiting to see Obama.
"And along with hundreds of others was turned away," she posted on the Kent Patch facebook page.
When set for a basketball game, the MACC has seating for 6,327 people.
"Any additional seating beyond the capacity of 6,327 that we have for a basketball game would be dependent on the space the stage (occupies) and if they are allowing actual seats or standing room on the main gym floor," said Todd Vatter, Kent State Athletics spokesperson.
University officials said 6,600 were inside the MACC for Wednesday's rally.
Some people said they understood that a ticket didn't guarantee entry.
"It's standard procedure to hand out more tickets than seats for any free event," Susan Kaniecki McGann wrote on the Kent Patch Facebook page. "No shows are actually quite common."
Those who did make it inside are sure to remember the rally for a long time.
"I feel very fortunate to have been able to get inside the MACC to see President Obama speak," Fisher said. "It was truly an historic event for (Kent State) and the city of Kent."