President Bush will speak at BYU's Marriott Center on Saturday after all.
After scouring Utah County for a site to serve as a backdrop for President Bush's speech on family values, the Bush-Quayle campaign decided nothing topped the Marriott Center.Bush campaign aides agreed Tuesday to forgo some political revelry - as stipulated by BYU officials.
"We gave them the conditions under which it could happen, and it's agreed," said Brent Harker, BYU spokesman.
Bush's visit marks the third time in the university's 117-year history that a serving president has spoken at BYU.
"We are honored that he will accept our invitation," said BYU President Rex E. Lee.
Tickets for the event are available from a variety of sources, including the Marriott Center ticket office, state and county Republican Party offices, city halls throughout the county, the Utah County Commission office, candidate campaign offices, Republican voting district chairmen and the Provo/Orem Chamber of Commerce.
The Marriott Center will accommodate about 19,000 people; some sections of the auditorium, which normally seats 23,000, will be closed off for security.
The 10,000 students attending summer session at BYU will be guaranteed tickets if they want them, Harker said. That leaves about 9,000 tickets for other sources to hand out.
Seating at the Marriott Center on Saturday will be on a first-come basis. Doors to the auditorium will open at 8 a.m. Attendees will be required to present their tickets and to pass through metal detectors before entering the center, Harker said.
The program starts at 10 a.m. with a performance by the Timpview High School band and choir, welcoming remarks by BYU provost Bruce Hafen and addresses by Sens. Jake Garn and Orrin Hatch, both R-Utah.
At 11 a.m. Lee will escort Bush into the Marriott Center while the Timpview band plays "Hail to the Chief." He will then make his speech.
"The agreement is to keep it to a forum university event with the focus on his speech," Harker said. "There will be some banners saying BYU and Utah County welcome President Bush and some flags, but banners saying Bush/Quayle '92 are not part of the agreement."
BYU about a month ago invited the three presidential candidates - Bush, Bill Clinton and Ross Perot - to speak at the campus. Last week, Bush's campaign accepted the offer.
However, Bush's advance team spent the past 10 days scouting other sites for the president's address after BYU said it wouldn't allow Republicans to stage a balloons-and-confetti political rally at the Marriott Center.
The campaign looked at everything from ballparks to high school campuses throughout Utah County during the past two days before resettling on the Marriott Center.
Bush will arrive Friday in Utah and is scheduled to speak at Red Butte Garden on the University of Utah campus Saturday morning before traveling to Provo.