Bush Speech Sets Dome Attendance Record


President George W. Bush delivered a speech to about 11,000 people during his visit to Marquette July 13, setting a new attendance record for the NMU Superior Dome. The facility has a seating capacity of 8,000 and was able to accommodate the remaining visitors, who stood on the floor in front of the stage. Bush is pictured being introduced by Detroit Lions Coach and NMU alumnus Steve Mariucci.


Fueled by a heavy demand for tickets to the Bush event among Upper Peninsula residents, campaign organizers made a decision to change the venue from Lakeview Arena to the Superior Dome. That set off a flurry of activity as many NMU staff members were called into action on short notice. They helped to prepare the facility and install phone lines, worked with national press officers, provided security for the buildings and the president, and performed other duties as needed.


When it comes to high-profile campus events, this served as a major initiation for new NMU President Les Wong. He praised those who invested the time and talent required to "help the university shine during its afternoon in the national spotlight."


In an e-mail distributed to the university community, Wong wrote: I heard nothing but rave reviews from the Washington, D.C., state and local people involved with the rally about the great job done by the NMU students and staff. I also want to thank the campus community for its patience with all of the hoopla created by the rally on Tuesday. Many of you were inconvenienced in one way or another, but everyone seemed to be flexible and tolerant. The media exposure for NMU was priceless. NMU or the Superior Dome was mentioned in news stories across the nation.



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Updated: July 27, 2004