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DENVER — Thousands came to hear presidential hopeful Senator Bernie Sanders speak at the University of Denver Saturday night, in what may be one of the largest political rallies of the 2016 cycle so far.

A candidate for the Democratic party presidential nomination, Sanders, 73, drew a crowd of over 5,500 to DU, by the university’s count.

It was standing-room only in the gym, which held 3,000 people, while others listened in the adjacent atrium or watched in the lacrosse field outside, where his speech was displayed on the scoreboard, according to university officials.

According to his campaign website, when the crowd chanted his name, Sanders stopped them.

“This campaign is not about me,” he said. “It is not about Hillary Clinton or any other candidate,” he added. “This campaign is about you, your kids and your parents. It is about creating a political movement of millions of people who stand up and loudly proclaim that this nation belongs to all of us and not just a handful of billionaires.”

His passionate speech focused on the main issues of his campaign, mainly the wealth and income gap in the United States “that is greater today than at any time since before the Great Depression.”

Sanders explained his platform, which includes putting 13 million Americans to work with a $1 trillion investment in rebuilding crumbling roads and bridges, providing tuition-free higher education at public colleges and universities, expanding child care to help working families and raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, among other issues.

The crowd at DU Saturday night rivaled the 5,500 who heard Hillary Clinton speak at New York City’s Roosevelt Island a week ago.

Sanders has emerged as a serious competitor for Hillary Clinton in the race for the presidential nomination for the Democratic party for 2016. A self-described democratic socialist, Sanders, 73,  is a U.S. Senator for Vermont and has been in Congress for more than 22 years.