The Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA championship Sunday night, ending the city's 52-year championship drought. As soon as the 20,000-plus spectators poured out of Quicken Loan Arena to celebrate in the streets, about 300 hundred workers began transforming the venue to prepare it for the Republican presidential convention beginning July 18th.
The workers don't have any time to waste. Usually, political parties get up to eight weeks to completely overhaul the inside of an arena. This year, due to the success of the Cavaliers, the GOP only has four weeks.
To get in everything done in about half the time, Scagnelli says workers will operate in three shifts to ensure work is being done "around the clock."
The workers are part demolition team, part builders. They will be removing 856 seats to make room for the stage, adding 2,475 seats on the floor for delegates, repurposing 30 luxury suites to become television studios, installing a 140,000-pound lighting grid, adding 836 lights and creating temporary offices everywhere -- including the hot tub room the Cavaliers use after games.
Scagnelli says "every nook and cranny will be filled; space is at a premium."
But he's not worried about the shortened timeline raising the risk of mistakes. "We have always been prepared for this," he says.
The Republican Party also does not expect Wednesday's championship parade on the streets outside to disrupt any of the work being done inside the arena.