Organizers of the Democratic National Convention gave media the first tour of Time Warner Cable Arena on Monday as it undergoes some major changes leading up to the DNC.
Starting this week, crews will work on renovating suites for media and other guests as well as transforming the arena's gift shops into work spaces for DNC staff. The Bobcats training basketball court will be turned into a media filing center.
There's also the issue of chairs, which need to be removed to create more space around the main stage.
"We're blessed with an arena that makes it a little easier," said Theo LeCompte, chief operating officer of the Democratic National Convention Committee.
LeCompte said TWC Arena only requires the removal of about 500 chairs. At the last DNC in Denver, more than 3,000 chairs had to be removed.
Organizers said some of the costliest and most time-consuming work will revolve around building the electrical, cable and internet infrastructure capacity to meet the demands of the media and other guests expected at the DNC.
Although the event is just seven weeks away, LeCompte said he's confident there was adequate time to do what needed to be done to get the arena ready. Renovations are expected to be complete by late August.
"We're right on track, and we're going to have a great convention come September 4," said LeCompte.
LeCompte, along with other DNC organizers, also reiterated a lack of concern about a potential shortfall in fundraising. The DNC Host Committee has promised to raise more than $36 million but some reports indicate the group has only come up with about $20 million so far.
"I don't have any concerns," said LeCompte. "Our fundraising is right on track, and we have the resources we need... you can see those resources at work today."