'We're really doing about 40 concerts in a row'; RNC officials talk about Q transformation

250 working to transform the Q to a political arena
Cavs signs are covered with RNC verbiage. (Source: WOIO)
Cavs signs are covered with RNC verbiage. (Source: WOIO)

DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Officials for the republican National Convention tell Cleveland 19 that about halfway through the shortest time frame for transitioning the Q from a basketball arena to the site of a political convention the task is more than halfway complete.

Deputy Press Secretary for the RNC told Cleveland 19 that it usually takes at least five weeks to transition a site for a political convention, Cleveland has had four, which RNC spokesman Dave O'Neil said may become the norm instead of the exception.

"Absolutely and I think we're likely maybe going to revolutionize the way these are put together. It's really the first time it's ever been done in less than five weeks, we will have done it in less than thirty days when all is said and done," said O'Neil. "We're proud of that. We're proud of the Cavs and we're glad to be here in Cleveland."

With about 250 people working on the Q every day, even on the Fourth of July, O'Neil said the arena change on a daily basis.

O'Neil pointed out changes made to the main stage, including new lighting.  Media boxes that were plain metal a week ago are now covered with blue fabric, and there are also lines along the floor denoting where delegate chairs will be.  There's no word yet on where exactly the Ohio delegates will be placed.

"You can see some of the lines in the floor right now it's where you're going to have our delegates sitting so you're going to have about 2500 seats on the floor of the Q and that will be one of the projects we undertake this week, is making sure there is enough seating and enough room for all the media members who are going to be down on the floor and all the delegates that are going to be down on the floor," said O'Neil.

When asked by Cleveland 19 if it was similar to setting up for a large rock concert, O'Neil replied, "well it's 96 hours of really continuous stuff that will be going on here, so I think a rock concert is two or three hours so we're really doing about 40 Rock concerts in a row."

There are two weeks until the convention, but the Q will need to be done in 12 days at the latest in order for the Secret Service to complete a security sweep of the arena.

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