NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – CBS 11 News has learned two cities in North Texas, Grand Prairie and Irving, have rejected playing host to Donald Trump’s campaign rallies in the days leading up to the presumptive Republican nominee’s visit to the Dallas area Thursday.
Aside from a rally, the Trump campaign has scheduled a fundraiser.
“It’s very unusual that the Republican candidate for president in this deep red state would be having trouble finding a venue for his rallies,” said SMU Political science professor Cal Jillson.
The Trump campaign requested to hold the rally Thursday evening at the Verizon Theater in Grand Prairie; the same location Democrat Bernie Sanders attracted 7,000 supporters in February.
But Grand Prairie police, who declined an on-camera interview, said the city rejected the Trump campaign’s request because of traffic and parking concerns.
Police said it’s not practical because at the same time of the planned rally, there will be two college baseball games at Air Hog stadium next door and horse racing will be taking place at nearby Lone Star Park. Authorities said the police department would also have to ask Arlington and Dallas police to provide additional officers because Grand Prairie doesn’t have enough to provide adequate security.
But police insist that was not a deal-breaker.
Violence has erupted outside of Trump’s rallies in other cities, when protestors attacked the Republican’s supporters.
Activists in Dallas are planning protests at both the rally and fundraiser, and other places, but insist they’ll be peaceful.
“There are various groups that are very upset on policy terms with him and they’re going to counter-demonstrate and that obviously raises security concerns particularly in the wake of Orlando,” said Jillson.
The city of Irving rejected the Trump campaign’s request to hold the rally at its convention center. It released the following statement:
“In consultation with the Irving Police Department, the city of Irving decided it was not given sufficient time – given a 48 hour notice – to gather the resources necessary to ensure the safety and security of those attending such a large-scale, high-profile event.”
The Trump campaign also inquired about holding the rally at the Gexa Pavilion at Fair Park in Dallas.
Mike Tabor with Gexa didn’t return a call from CBS11, but a city of Dallas spokeswoman Sana Syed confirmed the cost for holding the rally quoted to the campaign increased due to security issues and late planning.
There is some speculation that a Trump rally would be held at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, where he attracted nearly 20,000 people last September, but the man who oversees events at the AAC, Dave Brown said there’s never been a plan to host a Trump rally there this time.
The Dallas police department hasn’t returned calls seeking comment about its preparations for Trump’s visit.
Calls to Trump campaign’s Texas office were not returned.
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