President Donald Trump hosted a rally in Toledo, Ohio on Thursday night, January 9 for his 2020 campaign. The venue, which holds just shy of 8,000 people, was packed and overflow space was needed. The rally was his first of 2020 and happened the same day that the House voted that he should come to Congress for authorization before taking more military action in Iran. Read on to learn more and see crowd photos and videos from the rally. This is a developing story and more photos will be added as they are available.
To see photos of Trump’s most recent Toledo, Ohio rally in Swanton on September 21, see Heavy’s story here.
The Arena Was Packed & Overflow Space Was Needed
The Huntington Center where the rally took place has 8,000-plus seats, according to the venue’s website. However, another page with floor plans places seating at 7,389 for a hockey setup at 7,286 for an end-stage setup, which are the largest capacities listed on that page. So reports that there were 12,000 inside the arena can’t be accurate due to the venue’s capacity. However, it does appear that the venue ended up reaching capacity for the night.
This video below shows the crowd at the venue was packed. Every seat wasn’t filled in this video, as you can see. But the venue was definitely packed and later reports from the Toledo Blade indicated that the local police had to stop accepting people inside.
The venue reached capacity by the time the rally started, according to the Toledo Blade. The Blade said that a few hours before the rally was officially starting, the Toledo Police had stopped accepting people in line because the venue was going to be full.
Nolan Cramer of The New Political (and formerly of Toledo News) noted on Twitter that a Trump staff member said they thought there were about 7,500 people in the arena by about an hour and 45 minutes before the rally’s start time, and they thought they’d let in another 1,500.
Here’s a photo showing the crowd behind Trump.
And another crowd video.
The Huntington Center’s capacity is smaller than some of the other venues that Trump speaks at. Because of that, the overflow space was needed.
A large screen was set up outside to accommodate the overflow crowd. The photo below is from when people were standing in line before the doors opened for the rally.
The Huntington Center website noted: “There will be a jumbo TV screen near Huron Street that will be used as an ancillary viewing option when we reach capacity. Portable restrooms will be outside for use.”
Here’s a photo of the overflow crowd on Huron street.
Another look at the overflow crowd:
Trump, of course, had a lot to say about Democrats during the rally. He said that Democrats “are wasting our time” while he and Republicans are “creating jobs and killing terrorists.”
Trump also said that if Joe Biden got the Democratic nomination, then Trump would just ask “Where’s Hunter?” during his debates against Biden.
Trump also claimed during the rally that he didn’t tell Congress about his plans for the Soleimani strike because he believed Nancy Pelosi or someone else would leak the details.
Some People Showed Up Nearly a Day Early
People lined up hours early for the rally today. Some showed up 20 hours before the rally started.
Huntington officials told WTOL-11 that they expected at least 1,000 people to be lined up 24 hours before the event was starting. Here’s a look at a line of people waiting to get in:
During the rally, Trump had a lot to say. At one point, he motioned to the media and said, “That’s a lot of corruption back there.”
Here’s another video of the line for the rally.
There was also the traditional moment where a protester interrupted the rally. While the protester was booed, Trump said, “He’s going home to mommy.”
Trump’s next rally will be Tuesday, January 14 at 8 p.m Eastern (7 p.m. Central) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This is the same time as the Democratic debate. This rally will be at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena on Kilbourn Ave.
Then he’ll have another rally in Wildwood, New Jersey on Tuesday, January 28 at 7 p.m. Eastern (6 p.m. Central). That rally will be at the Wildwoods Convention Center on 4501 Boardwalk.