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From Cavs to the Convention: The Process of Transforming the Q for the RNC

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MARK URYCKI
/
WCBN

Now that the NBA Championship Finals are over, the Republican National Committee is getting to work transforming Quicken Loans Arena into a convention hall.

Outside the Q, fans waited in long lines to buy Cavs championship gear. Inside, the Humongotron still  shows the final score of Game 7 and a championship sign.

But below, the transformation of this basketball arena into the site of the Republican National Convention, is well underway.  Crews started working right after the last home game Thursday immediately constructing the stage on the east side of the court. They kept working through Sunday's watch party, says RNC Deputy Press Secretary Dave O'Neil.

Time-lapse images of the transformation:

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"There were people in the bowels of the arena doing construction or changing over -- the shower, the whirlpool room, the Zamboni for the hockey ice," O'Neil said. "We moved that out and actually put down a fake floor and made that an office space for printers.  There will not be a moment between now and July 18th where there is not someone doing some type of work."

About 250 local contractors will work around the clock for the next four weeks to get the Q ready for 21,000 people, including 2,500 delegates, O’Neil says. A team from presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump's campaign is now working out of the RNC office as well.

O'Neil says despite some controversy surrounding  Trump as the party’s nominee, the host committee is close to reaching its fundraising goal.

"I think everything during this cycle has been magnified and scrutinized to such a high degree. The host committee is telling us they are at about 58 million of the 65 million dollars they need to raise and they are confident. They will reach the goal. And actually they are ahead of pace," O'Neil said.

O’Neil also confirmed Trump will accept the nomination at the Q and not First Energy Stadium.  Work will continue right up to the start of the convention on July 18th.