RNC officials: Convention stage will "blow people's minds"

6:28 PM, Aug 19, 2012   |    comments
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UPDATE: RNC Stage Unveiled!

TAMPA, Florida -- The look and feel of the Republican National Convention stage and podium at the Tampa Bay Times Forum will have to remain a secret until Monday morning.

What we have been able to learn is that it's expected to be very high-tech, incorporating elements of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media that will play a bigger role here than it has at any convention before.

"There will be a real wow factor," said RNC Press Secretary Kyle Downey. "I promise you no one has seen a convention stage that looks like this."

The big unveiling of the stage is set for Monday morning. Employees have been collectively working on its design and construction for 30,000 hours.

"This stage is going to allow maximum flexibility. It's going to be very stimulating. It's going to be high tech and it's going to allow our story to be told," Downey said.

That story will also be told through hundreds of college interns from across the country. Through a partnership between Hillsborough Community College and the Washington Center for Internships and Academics, they're learning from political seminars and volunteering on the convention grounds.

"I'm from Northern California, which is very liberal, so I just wanted to learn about other sides, other opinions," said student intern Rachel Bickert.

"They are here to learn about the convention, the political process, about the stakeholders involved in the convention, the media, the committees that put the convention together," added Director of Academic Seminars Tony Cerise.

And a big part of putting the convention together is that stage we haven't seen yet. But just like the convention itself, the debut is right around the corner.

"It's going to blow people's minds," Downey said.

One of the first people to officially take that stage may be Ann Romney. She's expected to be the headline speaker the opening night of the convention.

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