Lines Growing For Obama's Athens Visit

By
Allen Henry

Dateline
Updated Fri, Jan 24, 2014 1:52 pm

Several long lines are already being formed to see President Barack Obama speak Wednesday on College Green, but only one person can have the coveted position of being first in line.

Colin Cottrell, an Ohio University junior from Marysville, had that honor amongst all those who received general admission tickets.

Cottrell got his spot in line at 8 a.m. and describes himself as a "massive supporter" of President Obama.

"I wanted good seats. This is a once in a lifetime opprotunity," said Cottrell.

Cottrell said lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights are the main reason why he supports the president.

"It's something I really want to see supported and this is the candidate that does that," said Cottrell.    

Staffers say they are expecting a turnout of around 10,000 people from the 15,000 tickets that were handed out.

Four different colors of tickets were distributed and once inside the gate, attendees will be lead to different areas of the venue depending on ticket color.

Green, white, red and blue tickets were distributed with red tickets belonging to "highest priority" guests and white being general admission according to one staffer managing the lines. 

Patrick Martin Rowland, a native of Scotland, has been living in the area for close to a decade, but hasn't become a U.S. citizen yet.

Rowland can't vote in the upcoming election, but says he is an Obama supporter.

"I agree with a lot of his views, especially concerning the medical situation. In the U.K., we have a national system so you never have to worry about your hospital bills. To me, that'd be a good thing over here," said Rowland.

Concerning Obama's opponent Mitt Romney, Rowland wasn't as praiseful but did compare him to a former leader.

"I'm afraid if Romney gets in, he has the same attitude as Margaret Thatcher had and he'll do the same thing in this country that Margaret Thatcher did in England." 

Cottrell says he is looking forward to see if Obama addresses local economic problems in his speech

"I'm interested to see how he approaches the poverty, seeing as he's speaking at a very rich area in the middle of a very impoverished one...or if he's just going to be speaking to us as college student," said Cotrell.

 

Slideshow: Lines Growing For Obama's Athens Visit

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Lines stretch down Union Street.

Colin Cottrell was the first to grab a spot in line for white ticket holders.  Cottrell arrived at 8 a.m.

Several airport-like security tents are set up around the perimeter of College Green.

Spectators wait outside a bookstore on South Court Street in Athens.

Slideshow: Obama in Athens

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