Obama speech stage resembles ancient Greek temple

DENVER Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:00pm EDT

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) waves from the steps of his campaign plane in Kansas City, Missouri, August 26, 2008. REUTERS/Jim Young

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) waves from the steps of his campaign plane in Kansas City, Missouri, August 26, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Jim Young

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DENVER (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's big speech on Thursday night will be delivered from an elaborate columned stage resembling a miniature Greek temple.

The stage, similar to structures used for rock concerts, has been set up at the 50-yard-line, the midpoint of Invesco Field, the stadium where the Denver Broncos' National Football League team plays.

Some 80,000 supporters will see Obama appear from between plywood columns painted off-white, reminiscent of Washington's Capitol building or even the White House, to accept the party's nomination for president.

He will stride out to a raised platform to a podium that can be raised from beneath the floor.

The show should provide a striking image for the millions of Americans watching on television as Obama delivers a speech accepting the Democratic presidential nomination.

Politicians in past elections have typically spoken from the convention site itself, but the Obama campaign liked the idea of having their man speak to a larger, stadium-sized crowd not far from where the Democratic National Convention is being held, at the Denver pro basketball arena.

Obama was taking a page from the campaign book of John Kennedy in 1960 when the future president delivered his acceptance speech to 80,000 people in the Los Angeles Coliseum.

Once Obama speaks, confetti will rain down on him and fireworks will be fired off from locations around the stadium wall.

Democratic convention organizers said the theme for the evening is "Change We Can Believe In," which has been a consistent message of Obama's presidential campaign.

Oscar-winning actress and singer Jennifer Hudson will sing the national anthem that night.

(Reporting by Steve Holland; editing by David Wiessler)

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