Crews waste no time returning Xcel to normal

  • Updated: September 5, 2008 - 9:14 PM

Take-downs are usually quicker than build-ups, and such was the case at the Xcel Energy Center on Friday in St. Paul. After six weeks of transforming the arena for the four-day Republican National Convention, crews hustled to return Xcel to its familiar use as concert venue and hockey rink. They wasted no time. Shortly after the final gavel on Thursday, overnight crews swept up confetti, picked up signs, and removed folding chairs and carpeting.

By midmorning Friday, news network signs had been taken down. Lighting and rigging were being lowered from the rafters. Much of the temporary outdoor security fencing had been hauled away.

Crews need to work fast. The deadline for the Republican Party to turn in the keys at Xcel is Sept. 18, and the Minnesota Wild opens its preseason there on Sept. 24.

Ahead on the "to-do" list:

30 Suites used by news media organizations will be emptied of special cables, sets, and temporary walls and doors that had been constructed.

44 Other suites that were used for convention hospitality will be restored with rows of chairs and drink rails.

25 Extra miles of voice, data and coaxial cable, most of which will be removed.

3,000 Arena seats (approx.) taken away to make room for media platforms will be returned and reinstalled.

58 Semitrailer truck loads of material normally stored in the arena will be trucked back, including 3 Zambonis, a basketball court and subfloor.

And finally...

Dozens of extra lamps and miles of data lines, fiber-optic lines and copper wiring will be removed as well.

TOM MEERSMAN

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