Tickets required for President's UR speech

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The buzz on the University of Richmond campus continued Thursday as thousands lined up for tickets to see the President. Mr. Obama is giving a speech at the university Friday afternoon.

People lined up at 11 Thursday morning for a ticket. The line wrapped around the inside and outside of the building.

The first one to claim his space to hear President Barack Obama Friday wasn't an American, but a European.

"I'm from Austria, and I take the chance to see the American president talking," said Stefan Bogdanobic.

Josephine Claiborne waited by his side all day.

"I have been here since 11, and I would have been here at 7," said Claiborne.

Most everyone in line was an Obama supporter.

"I could look at this on television, but I prefer to be here to let him know there are those of us who do support his agenda," said Gladys Bailey Harris.

Others wanted their chance to see a sitting president up close.

NATHANIEL BASSETT: "You have an opportunity to meet the President of the United States, what do you do? You go out and meet him, right?"
RACHEL: "You go wait in line for a ticket?"

"We're waiting in line to see the President Obama. I mean everybody's excited about that. I'd wait for days for tickets to see him," said Alicia Mooradian.

"I had an opportunity to possibly see him and this is a historical moment in my life," said Ann Younger.

Betty Hunter-Clapp got tickets for her 10-year-old grandson.

"That's why I'm standing here on my arthritic knees, because I really want to encourage him to stay involved," said Hunter-Clapp.

The university started handing the tickets out early. The line moved quickly, and it wasn't all just about getting a ticket to see the Commander and Chief. Many told us they really want to hear what he has to say about the economy.

"The country is really going through a tough time now because people don't have jobs," said Audrey Gadson.

"I work in Petersburg, and the job situation is very bleak, and it's hit a lot of people and the economics for people are very tough," said Pamela Feir.

Doors open at the Robins Center Friday at 8:30 in the morning. Parking is very limited, so a shuttle service will be provided from City Stadium at 3201 Maplewood Ave. Shuttle buses start running at 6:30 in the morning. Buses will also run from the University of Richmond's downtown campus at 626 East Broad St.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.