NPR logo INVESCO Recap

INVESCO Recap

Last Thursday, [some 80,000 people and] I had the hottest ticket in town: a credential for the last night of the Democratic National Convention, at INVESCO Field at Mile High, in Denver. Here is an abridged:

At 2:30 p.m., Ron Elving, NPR's senior Washington editor; Jordana Hochman and Nicole Beemsterboer, both of Morning Edition; and Sean Bowditch, a producer on NPR's national desk, headed over to the Pepsi Center, to catch a shuttle to the football stadium.

Sean Bowditch, Ron Elving, Nicole Beemsterboer, Jordana Hochman wait for the bus. Source: David Gura/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Source: David Gura/NPR

The security line was shorter than we expected (10 minutes). Once inside, I walked down to the floor, where television reporters and producers were a dime a dozen. Ted Koppel, who joins us from time to time, to talk about foreign policy, was there, chatting with his former colleague, Jeff Greenfield.

Jeff Greenfield and Ted Koppel. Source: David Gura/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Source: David Gura/NPR

(Trust me, the conversation was more lighthearted than that picture makes it seem.)

It took hours for the show to get underway. Doors opened at 1:00 p.m., and plenty of people showed up to stake claim to good seats. By 4:30 p.m., the place was almost full.

Crowded. Source: David Gura/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Source: David Gura/NPR

The crowd — and the line-up — were interspersed with celebrities — from Hollywood and Washington. Will.I.Am, John Legend, and Sheryl Crow played on stage. From our seats, we saw Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), Al Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson.

The Reverend Source: David Gura/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Source: David Gura/NPR

And Ashley Judd.

This reporter -- and a movie star. Source: Amy Walters/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Source: Amy Walters/NPR

As I told friends afterward, the afternoon and evening went by quickly. It was, as many political pundits said, amazing stagecraft. Music flowed seamlessly into videos into speeches. I can't describe the energy in that stadium when, once the biographical video about Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) ended, the candidate stepped onto the stage. As I looked around, everyone was on his feet, clapping, yelling, squinting to see him.