Street closings for Romney event near South Boston waterfront cause few problems

As streets closed down throughout the waterfront area of South Boston, former Governor Mitt Romney’s election night event at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center was set to begin without incident Tuesday night.

The road closures did not cause traffic jams or any severe back-ups, as guests and supporters rolled up to the patriotically lit convention center in coach buses.

“I haven’t had any reported incidents,” said David Estrada, a spokesman for the Boston police. “Everyone was well prepared for the event.”

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

The blue and red lights from emergency vehicles blended with the lights glowing outside the convention center, as Summer and D streets were shut down for the event. A strong police presence was outside the building, along with a security tent set up outside the entrance staffed with Transportation Security Administration officers who inspected guests as they arrived.

The building itself was illuminated in red, white, and blue with stars sprinkled across the center’s awning. Standing under it, looking for event credentials, Blanchelle Guzman, 30, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., eagerly waited to gain entrance.

“I’m just very excited for my generation to be voting,” said Guzman, who identifies as a Republican.

She said she was a big Romney supporter, “especially on the jobs front.”

“I also love his stance on women,” said Guzman. “He respects us and wants us to go forth to be all we can be. He gives me the right to choose.”

A supporter who identified himself at Tiger Q said he came all the way from Washington, D.C.

“I’m excited, it’s election night,” he said “Our country is divided, the Supreme Court is divided. I think Romney’s a son of Massachusetts. He’s got the leadership skills and the job creation skills.”

He was one of 6,000 to 8,000 people expected to attend Romney’s event by the waterfront, according to Mac Daniel, a spokesman for the convention center.

About 4,000 people were expected to be present in the ballroom on the third floor where the main event will take place, said Daniel. Over 2,000 people were slated to be in the north lobby, where attendees planned to watch the event on a real-time telecast on a 150-foot-wide wall screen, he said.

There was little resistance to the event from the left, as two people with Elizabeth Warren signs stood under the massive convention center sign glimmering with the Romney/Ryan symbol.

“We’re trying to generate more knowledge of our candidate,” said John Reed, 51, of Worcester, “and [Romney] was a bad governor and will make an even worse president.”

Nick Greigg, 22, of Worcester, stood alongside Reed holding his Warren sign up as buses pulled into the convention center. He said he supported Warren “to keep student interest rates at low costs.”

With only two Democratic supporters outside, Romney guests flowed into the convention center Tuesday night.

Guzman walked outside the perimeter bundled in a coat and scarf with a smile despite her lack of credentials.

“I’m finally off on an election day,” she said. “I’m excited to be a part of it.”