RNC Unveils Stage Design for July Convention in Cleveland

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The main stage for the Republican National Convention in Cleveland is partially built inside Quicken Loans Arena.    Workers rushed in after the NBA finals to install 140 thousand pounds of lights, build a stage, and turn luxury boxes into sets for television broadcasters.  Details from ideastream’s Mark Urycki.


Officials of the Republican National Convention say the transformation of the Quicken Loans Arena is right on schedule.  They unveiled a model of the stage they plan to use at midcourt that will be surrounded by 17 hundred square feet of L-E-D screens.

The CEO of the RNC Committee on Arrangements, Jeff Larson, praised the city and the union workers for keeping to a stepped up schedule after the NBA Finals.

“It’s not putting up a small stage for a Madonna concert or something.  There’s a lot that goes into this. And the planning and everything else we had to do over the last 18 months to get ready for a week ago last Friday as we moved in and all those working pieces.   We’ve never done this in less than 5 weeks and we’re doing this in just at 4 weeks.”  

Designer Phil Alongi says he learned from Tampa 4 years ago how to use the screens to project whatever the RNC wants to set the mood.  The Tampa video of a waving flag was criticized as being boring.  

Alongi started working on the Cleveland convention in April of 2015 but did consult this year with the campaign of apparent nominee Donald Trump, who has experience producing entertainment shows. Alongi is a former NBC news producer. 

“This is a news event. The reason why they hired me to produce this is because I come from a news background and that’s the part that is not going to get lost.   This will remain a news event. “

Are you working around the clock?

“No!   This is honestly, I have to tell you, we had Plan A and Plan B.  Yes, we did root for the Cavs. We wanted the city of Cleveland to be extremely proud and upbeat.  But we had to vary schedules and we adjusted accordingly to work with the Quicken Loans Arena about getting some work done even prior to us taking occupancy so this all worked out.  And I’m happy to say we are on schedule. “

Alongi says they are happy to use some assets already in the arena including its large video screen known as The Humungotron.




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