I didn’t learn much during the Pepsi Center’s community walk-through today that I didn’t already know, but I did get a feel for just how massive an operation the Democratic National Convention and the accompanying media coverage will be.
Just getting to the Pepsi Center from the Auraria campus parking garage across the street meant stepping over cables, walking around giant fences and avoiding trucks and construction guys turning Brooklyn’s into CNN’s temporary headquarters. In fact, the side of the building has been painted on all sides with the news network’s logo.
But Denver at large did get to catch a glimpse of just how cool the arena will look during the three nights leading up the Barack Obama’s acceptance speech over at Invesco Field.
And most of the people who toured – volunteers, staunch Democrats, out of towners, students, interested locals – were visibly excited and left with smiles on their faces.
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The volunteers who were working the event ranged from the sublimely bored and/or nervous to the unbelievably chatty and/or overprotective. Most of them were wearing white or red DNC volunteer shirts and beige DNC fanny packs (I knew fanny packs were making a comeback!) But they had reason to be protective.
The public – dressed predominantly in shorts, Tevas, visors and tshirts – couldn’t seem to keep their hands off of anything, from the phones located at each of the state delegate seating areas to the voluminous masses of wires and cable that made parts of the Pepsi Center look like a hospital in a war zone. They probably would have been grabbing hotdogs and donuts from the snack lines if they’d been open.
But that’s okay. Denver isn’t the center of the world every day. – Jonathan Shikes