No public tickets are available for a CNN town hall Thursday with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, a Lackawanna County stadium official said Monday.
The network is selecting the 90 attendees, all Democrats and independents, who will drive in and park near the stage, said Christopher Munley, chairman of the county multipurpose stadium authority.
The one-hour town hall is scheduled for 8 p.m. in a parking lot outside PNC Field, the authority-owned stadium in Moosic.
A CNN official briefed him on the plans Saturday when he visited the venue, Munley said.
The network aims to heed Gov. Tom Wolf’s order banning public gatherings of more than 250 people because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Munley said. With network staff, Secret Service agents and others working on the event, the audience is limited, he said. A federal judge in Pittsburgh ruled the limit unconstitutional Monday.
For its town halls, the network typically chooses audiences of independents and members of the candidate’s party, Munley said the CNN official told him. No media are allowed in either.
The New York Yankees’ use of the stadium as an isolated training site for its non-major league players prevents using the stadium for the town hall, Munley said.
The audience selection differs from the way Fox News handled its March 5 town hall in Scranton with President Donald Trump.
Fox sought audience members through Eventbrite, a website where people could sign up for tickets without restriction by party. The crowd was larger and the media covered the event in person. At that point, Wolf had not issued widespread COVID-19 movement restrictions.
Biden and CNN host Anderson Cooper will sit on a covered stage. The audience — no more than three to a vehicle — will sit near their vehicles as they’re called on to ask questions, Munley said. Efforts to reach a CNN spokeswoman were unsuccessful.