Saturday, November 1, 2008

City details plans for Obama downtown bash

If you don’t have tickets for Tuesday night’s Barack Obama party in Grant Park, think twice about coming downtown, because it’s going to be one big mess.

That was the message from city officials Friday as they outlined a series of security, transit and other steps they are taking in anticipation of a crowd that some believe could top one million in and near Hutchinson Field at the south end of the park.

The Chicago Transit Authority will be adding extra service election night. Not only will street parking be banned anywhere downtown south of the river but Michigan Avenue, Lake Shore Drive and other thoroughfares will be closed much of the evening.

Officials wouldn’t say exactly how many they will allow to congregate — only about 70,000 tickets have been issued for the Obama event itself — but made it clear there is a limit.

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