Missoula Trump Rally in Same Hangar Hillary Used in 2008, Here’s What to Expect
When Donald Trump comes to Missoula on Thursday he’ll be hosting a rally in the same Neptune Aviation hangar where his former political rival Hillary Clinton held a rally back in 2008.
According to Neptune Aviation officials when Hillary came, the venue held between 4 and 5,000 people. Missoula County GOP chair Vondene Kopetski says she expects a capacity of around 5,000 people this time too, but that it is very unlikely that all those who have tickets will be able to get in to see the president. Her best advice for people who want to see the president is to get there early.
"When I say early, well, that's hard to gauge, I've had calls with people telling me they are going to be there at 8:00 in the morning. I don't know what's reasonable, I'm just giving the information I'm getting. I think that a lot of people will think that 'early' means 11 and 12 a.m. and I've certainly heard that a lot. I'm not advising people to do that, I'm just saying that's what a lot of people are telling me means early to them."
The doors won’t open to the public until 3:30 p.m. and the rally won’t begin until 6:30 p.m., so those that show up at 8:00 are going to need to be prepared for more than seven hours of waiting in line.
"People that are going to have to wait in long lines are asking can they bring camp chairs or something to sit in, absolutely they can, but they should know that the security is extremely tight," Kopetski said. "So, when they walk through the security towers the Secret Service will confiscate anything that your bringing in that they think might be a security threat of any kind."
Neptune Aviation officials and members of the Trump team are still working on arranging for seating and other elements, so final venue capacity is still unknown. It is also unknown if large screens will be set up outside the venue for those waiting in line to watch the President speak even if they can’t get through the door, something that was recommended after thousands were turned away in Great Falls and Billings.
Note: An earlier draft of this story included a possible move to Minuteman Aviation, that move was considered because the hangar provided a better photo op of Air Force One, but they ended up deciding to go back to the Neptune Aviation Hangar after all late Monday night.