RNC Chairman Reince Priebus Unveils Final Convention Stage
Multiple LED screens break new ground for convention stages
Tampa, Fla. - Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and convention Chief Executive Officer William Harris today unveiled the final stage for the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. For the first time in convention history, the stage will include 13 LED panels creating a large-scale backdrop with video capabilities.
Chairman Priebus said, "I am proud to present you a stage that is fitting of the historic event that will kick off right here just one week from today. Our convention will connect with people across America and around the world from right here on this stage - through speakers and these incredible screens behind me. On any given night almost 40 million people will be joining us through television but we are also making an unprecedented effort to connect with millions more through our 'convention without walls' - a pioneering digital program focused on engaging people, building a strong community and amplifying convention messages.
"I am excited. The convention team is excited. Our party is excited, and America is excited. We are excited because we are ready for a new direction in our country. This isn't just an election we have coming up. Nominating Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan here in Tampa at the 2012 Republican National Convention is the first step we are taking toward a better future for generations of Americans."
Republican National Convention CEO William Harris said, "The stage is really incredible. We are using technology and digital capabilities that have never been used at a convention before. The high-tech stage brings this event to a whole new level and it will help people at home watching TV or watching us through YouTube online to be a part of the energizing experience here in Tampa."
“A Better Future” Stage/Podium Facts & Figures
Approximately 318 production staff and crew built the podium – totaling more than 30,000 man-hours, 20,000 man-hours from the local production crew alone.
Some on the crew worked 16-hour days, and the main staff will work around the clock during convention.
The team comes from 22 states.
The base crew began planning 1.5 years ago.
Set pieces are not made from disposable material like normal rock concerts—this set has all the highest quality material, incorporating the most advanced safety precautions.
Some set elements are so heavy that they had to be rigged from the ceiling to barely touch the rest of the set to keep the weight from crushing the podium.
The Republican Convention is showcasing XL Video’s newest Pixled F-6 LED panels on world stage for the first time.
There are almost NINE MILLION total pixels in the screens and arena ribbons.
Screens are the backbone of the set. There are 15 LED screens total, 13 of which are on the stage. Screens are stacked in the space to create sense of depth.
They can form an unbroken panoramic image or be used individually to crate a collage effect.
The podium has a total of 2,402 square feet of LED screens, compared to standard 40’’ TV of 6.3 square feet.
The screens range in size from 8’6’’x 8’6’’ to 28’8’’x12’4’’. The largest screen is 381 square feet.
The stage/set uses three LED products:
o Six center stage screens with 4 MM technology
o Four screens with 6 MM technology
o Canopy screens with 11 MM technology & Side screens with 11 MM technology
The set also includes live HD video feeds. The magnitude of this project required a 3-week installation.
Screens are framed in 6’’ wood frames to keep screens from merging into one flat visual plane.
“Control Freak Systems” will be used to control the live HD video feed by combining TV truck feeds, cameras, video playback, graphics, social media streams onto screens. This includes 36 channels of HD Playback.
The podium was designed with sense of “America’s Living Room.”
The design is based on a warm but modern approach—traditional American Prairie style architecture merged with modern technology.
The challenge was making a large-scale set that was also warm and inviting.
There are three canopy screens above the stage to frame it and contribute to its sense of intimacy. Mullions
(vertical elements that form a division between units of a window) give the screens a feeling of skylight
windows. Angled side screens reinforce the design and showcase happenings to box seat guests.
Open frames and horizontal beams create a sense of architecture and balanced composition.
There are four tones of wood on the podium proper to provide texture and balance:
o Frames: cherry wood faces with mahogany bevels
o Steps: warm mahogany and threads of lighter cherry
o Banding around stage: walnut and mahogany
o Center of deck: warm light cherry
A custom-built gigabit fiber optic system is used to distribute data from the control panel to the
individual lights using 14.79 miles of cabling and approximately 25,662 pounds of lights – the
approximate weight of a U.S. Navy jet-powered drone.
There are 950 total lights – including 267 incandescent lights and 390 arc lights.
The lighting system uses a color-mixing technology that creates an impression of texture.
State of the art fixtures include varillite, 30k, 3500k, 3500 spots, 3500 washes, PRG Best Boys, and
Clay Paky Alpha Spot 700’s which produce the most crisp, clear lights.
The crew focused all of this lighting in the Times Forum in just six hours.
The convention acoustically treated 100% of the Times Forum ceiling—these are permanent
improvements that will remain in the Tampa Bay Times Forum and allow for high-volume concerts,
helping to attract future entertainment, business, and energy to Tampa.
The sound system contains 1.36 MILLION watts of amplifier power - compared to 300 watts used in
a standard home stereo.
Total light and sound cabling equals 20.39 miles.
Sound system is made of:
o 159 JBL Line Array Speakers
o 22 Stage Monitor Speakers
o 202 Media Speakers
o 6 Digital mixing consoles
o 12 wireless microphones
o 80 standard microphones
o 348 press audio outputs
Certified rope access teams were hired to climb high beams and rig points to the highest parts of the
They rigged a total of 2,500 feet of truss—almost half mile.
250,000 lbs. of lighting, audio and video gear are now suspended from the building’s roof.
There are 275 chain motors (rigging points).
The Times Forum’s 1,000 lb. Lightening Tesla coil suspended from the ceiling had to be moved to load
any materials onto the catwalk.