Security delays left long line outside during Trump's Nashville rally

Line stretching for blocks outside of Municipal Auditorium. PHOTO: WZTV FOX 17 Nashville

Municipal Auditorium's General Manager said security delays caused thousands of people to be left outside the president's rally Wednesday.

People waited in line for hours to see the president speak in Nashville, but not everyone made it inside the venue.

Metro Police said some of the first people in line got to Municipal Auditorium at 2:30 a.m. Wednesday. Doors to event opened at 3:30 p.m. and the president was slated to speak around 6:30 p.m.

Municipal Auditorium General Manager Bob Skoney said the Municipal Auditorium wasn't at capacity for President Trump's speech for a variety of reasons.

It wasn't because there was a lack of support for the Commander-in-Chief in Nashville. There were thousands of people still waiting when the president started his speech last night.

"So we're just going to let the other folks come in and fill it up," Trump said. "This is some crowd. You have to see what's outside, you wouldn't believe it."

Patricia Fuller and her family got in line outside the Municipal Auditorium around 4 p.m. with full hopes in seeing the president address the Nashville crowd.

"I actually got two tickets, one for myself and my husband and my brother and his wife got tickets," Fuller said. "We were so excited we had tickets and we were going to get to go."

When the president took the stage, Fuller was still outside and her dream of seeing Trump speak quickly sunk.

"I watched the whole thing from my iPhone," Fuller said.

Supporters said they only saw one entry point to the auditorium.

"We're all very supportive of Trump, still very supportive of Trump," Fuller said. "We just felt like the whole event could have been better organized so more people could've got in. There were thousands and thousands of people that did not get in that gave up and left."

Bob Skoney said there was a large build-up of people to go through the metal detectors, and it took longer that they anticipated to get everyone through.

"It was a cold day, and many were wearing jackets that had to come off for screening along with emptying pockets, which caused a much longer delay," Skoney said.

Skoney also said the event wasn't at it's capacity of 8,900 people because they weren't able to get everyone in on time.

"It was a TSA-organized effort that was in place yesterday to have people come into our venue," said, Skoney. "It wasn't an auditorium screening effort."

Skoney could not give attendance numbers when asked how many people were inside the venue last night for the president's speech.

The US Secret Service gave the following statement thanking local law enforcement for their help during President Trump's visit to Nashville:

"Presidential visits such as the one that occurred last night in Nashville require a tremendous amount of advance planning and coordination by the Secret Service along with our federal, state and local partners. Through these partnerships, we are able to implement a safe and secure environment for the President and those attending the events. The Secret Service is deeply appreciative of the outstanding efforts of all of our federal, state and local law enforcement partners who participated in the President’s visit."

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