CLEVELAND, Ohio (WKBN) – Republican National Convention leaders opened the doors of Quicken Loans Arena on Tuesday, giving a first glimpse of the set design for the convention in three weeks.
Cleveland is hosting the main stage where Donald Trump will be officially chosen as the GOP’s presidential nominee.
Stage design is important because it helps convey the message of the party and the candidate, and this stage is being called one of the most advanced ever built.
“We’re gonna have all 2,472 delegates on the floor, so it really is going to feel like a homey-type feel, like you’re watching it around your fireplace,” said Deputy Press Secretary Dave O’Neil. “That’s also going to be very interesting for the delegates, in that they’re going to be so close, and it really is going to have sort of a small, town hall-type feel.”
Construction on the stage began June 18, exactly one month before the start of the convention and shortly after the Cavaliers finished Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
Work in the arena is about 25 percent complete. So far, crews have removed 3,000 seats to fit the stage and areas for the delegates and TV cameras. They are very busy building the set, making camera platforms and preparing the logs for media use.
The centerpiece of the stage will be two large screens with one million pixels, put together with 636 LED panels.
“The top screen is convex shape, embraces out beyond the Q, give that perspective. The lower screen is concave and the point of that is to bring people into the Q,” organizer Phil Alongi said.
The screens will be installed and finished soon, with 647 moving light fixtures around them.
Only 20,500 people will be in Cleveland on the final night of the convention when the balloons drop, but organizers say they want viewers at home to feel like they are there, too.
Wi-Fi is another important part of the RNC because everyone will want to Tweet, Facebook and post videos or pictures. The RNC expects demand for Wi-Fi to be ten times higher than it was for the 2012 convention in Tampa.
All of the trades are confident that the transformation will be ready for the start of the convention on July 18.
There is also a possibility that Trump will be holding other campaign events during the convention, either where the Browns or Indians play.
WKBN 27 First News will be in Cleveland to cover the four-day event from start to finish.