Kennedy, Dean and Obama all gave great speeches, and the last of them has a great future ahead of him. Dean I’m not so sure of….
But now’s a good time as any to describe the layout of the Fleet center. The FC is a sports arena. Here the Boston Celtics and other indoor teams play to rapt crowds when the place is not taken over by bigass pop and rock bands. (The last act to play before the Democrats took over was probably Britney Spears, but I’m not sure.) The lobby is full of concession stands, and you head up the escalator to the second floor, where the expensive seats are and there are more concession stands, and a full-scale restaurant here and there, this is rated the third floor for some reason. The fourth floor is much the same, and there are hawkers selling political buttons and giving away Tee shirts in exchange for signing up for Visa carts. The conventions are "rule-free zones" remember and corporations can spend as much money here as they damn well please. So they do.
Above that are two floors of skyboxes. The fifth is for the VVVIPs so they can watch and drink in comfort, there was a major party blocking the way to what might be my assigned seat, (which I have yet to sit down in) and I had to go up to the sixth floor, which is where all the networks have their viewing booths. I nearly got into the Al-Jezeera booth, as a Pakistani journalist invited me along to find out what their reaction was to having their annex van in the parking lot towed. I don’t think that got much play as Al-Jezeera isn’t all that popular around here, but still….
Above that is the cheap seats. Anyone with a light green ticket can get in…which reminds me….the ticket color code. There’s six colors ranking the attendees and governing where they could go within the forbidden zone:
Yellow: This is the lowest. You can get within the zone but not in the FC, that’s the lowest and is given to assistants and drivers and the like.
Light Green: This is given to guests and medium-level journalists. This gets you in the hall, but only the halls behind the floor and the nosebleed seats on the seventh floor.
Dark Green:This is given to "honored guests" and upper-level journalists. This gets you everywhere but the major parties and the floor. I’ve got one of these, it’s way cool, but I can’t get to the free food they give the bigwigs…
They get purple.
Then comes the coveted Red floorpass. This is given to delegates and alternates, and those journalists from companies big enough to warrant going on the floor, there’s a "lending library" of sorts, where you can borrow one for an hour or so. I still haven’t found where I can get mine.
Each pass is the red and light green passes are dated for one day, that means you have to go and get a new one from the DNCC office every morning.