Q: How can a 1,400-seat theater accommodate nearly 20,000 people? A: It can’t. And that’s the dilemma facing authorities in Burlington, Vermont on Thursday.
Donald Trump’s campaign booked the Flynn Theater in downtown Burlington for a 7 p.m. rally. Then it issued 18,000 tickets to that event, a police spokesman told Fortune Thursday afternoon.
The local authorities are not amused. The police department issued a statement warning prospective attendees that the Fire Marshal, and U.S. Secret Service will enforce existing attendance limits to ensure safety.
It was unclear how many people will actually try to attend the event since rival campaigns often grab up tickets to assure no-shows. But at 4:40 p.m. EST, Main Street had been sealed off for crowd control, according to the Burlington Free Press.
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Passions may be running high because Vermont is the home state of Bernie Sanders, the socialist Democratic Senator who’s challenging Hilary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. Sanders was formerly mayor of Burlington. Donald Trump, in case you haven’t heard, is the New York real estate developer who is running for the Republican nomination.
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The Hill had reported that Sanders backers were using social media to encourage like-minded people to reserve tickets to the Trump event and then stay away.
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The fact that Vermont abuts New Hampshire, where most of the candidates have been campaigning for next month’s primary, has amped up the theatrics a bit.