TAMPA–(Tampa Bay Times)–Heavy lifting began Monday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum for the Aug. 27-30 Republican National Convention.
Nearly 30 stagehands hoisted trusses that will support more than 200,000 pounds of theatrical lighting, speakers and cables.
At least three of the workers, called “super riggers,” are specially trained so they can dangle 130 feet in midair to attach cables to hard-to-reach secure spaces on the Times Forum’s ceiling.
“The super riggers will go off the beam and truly suspend themselves,” said Phil Alongi, the convention’s executive producer. “They’re a lot like mountain climbers.”
It’s the second week of a $20 million prep job that is scheduled to take six weeks.
Last week, about 3,000 seats were removed and stored. The foundation for the stage on which Mitt Romney will accept the Republican presidential nomination was built.
The center stand where TV cameramen and photographers will be is under construction. The seating section for reporters was also built on both sides of the main stage.