CHARLOTTE - With seven weeks to go before the big kick-off, the Democratic National Convention Committee officially has the keys to Time Warner Cable Arena in Uptown Charlotte.
City and convention leaders came together Monday to commemorate the milestone.
“In September, this arena will be the center of the world," said Mayor Anthony Foxx, with crews already hard at work behind him.
"The team we have assembled represents the best of Charlotte, the best of the Carolinas, and the best of this nation,” added Pat Rogers, CEO of Rogers Builders, the convention's construction management and event architect team.
Crews now have 50 days to transform the sports and entertainment venue to a world class convention center. In the coming days and weeks teams will remove seats, set up stages and sky boxes and upgrade the wiring to accommodate thousands of media members to broadcast the convention to the world.
"Today, this is Charlotte's arena. This is the place where so many of the most historical moments in the 2012 election cycle will happen," added Mayor Foxx.
Close to 200 construction workers are assigned to the $7 million project. Organizers said most are from the Carolinas and consist of a mix of union and non-union labor.
"Looking forward, I expect to arrive at work each day to find the arena bustling with activity and excitement and I can't wait," said Bobcats Executive VP Bill Duffy.
Convention organizers add this project is less complex than the work required inside Denver's Pepsi Center. For example, in 2008 crews had to remove more than 3,000 seats from the arena to make room for delegates. This convention, crews only need to remove 500.