The Obama for America campaign confirmed that First Lady Michelle Obama will be speaking to supporters at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center Monday at 3:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, though tickets are required due to space limitations.
The whole center will be open for the event, UF spokesman Steve Orlando said.
Tickets will be made available on a first-come, first-served basis at Gate 1 of the O’Connell Center at 6 p.m Wednesday. The campaign said Friday that it did not know how many tickets had been distributed or how many remained.
Students on the UF campus were eager to claim their tickets for the event.
Jessica Poitevein, a 22-year-old linguistics and Spanish student at UF, waited outside the building around noon. She’s a Barack Obama supporter and said she’s a huge fan of the first lady, too.
“I’ve always wanted to see her in person, I’ve always wanted to go to a rally. I never had one close enough to me until now,” Poitevein said.
Poitevein helped organize the line as it snaked around the O’Connell Center and informed other students that gathered of the ticket distribution procedure after speaking with facility personnel.
“I just think it’s going to be an amazing atmosphere,” she said. “I feel most of the people in this line probably have their minds made up about who they are going to vote for. This is really just going to get people excited and really motivated to vote in November, and that’s why I’m here.”
Other tickets will be distributed at the Organizing for America offices, the Alachua Democratic Executive Committee and the Oak Grove at Santa Fe College.
Gainesville is the first of two Florida stops the first lady will make on Monday as part of the Obama campaign’s “It Takes One” effort to help grow the president’s national grassroots networks. Obama is scheduled to make her second appearance at 6:55 p.m. at the Leon County Civic Center in Tallahassee.
Updated by Kelly Price.