PRESS RELEASE from 2008 Republican National Convention

Transformation Begins at Xcel Energy Center for the 2008 Republican National Convention

Monday, July 21, 2008

SAINT PAUL, Minn. - Today marks the handover of the Xcel Energy Center to planners for the 2008 Republican National Convention, beginning a six-week transformation in advance of the September 1-4 event.

During the next 42 days, convention staff will oversee the build-out of the Xcel Energy Center and the 475,000 square feet of media workspace located in the Saint Paul RiverCentre and Roy Wilkins Auditorium. Experts specializing in a variety of trades will work as a team to ensure that all systems are "go" when the gavel drops September 1.

"After more than one year of preparation and a lot of hard work, we are excited to officially transition from planning to implementation," said convention President and CEO Maria Cino. "With only six weeks to go, we will be ready to welcome Sen. John McCain and the 45,000 convention participants joining us from around the country and the millions more participating from home."

Twenty-five trucks carrying equipment and supplies arrived at the Xcel Energy Center early this morning, enabling crews to get an early start on the first phase of the transformation process. Today, modifications to suites and media workspace will begin, ensuring that all necessary accommodations are made for the 15,000 members of the media expected at this year’s convention.

Throughout the next six weeks, crews will install nearly six miles of phone and internet cable and a total of 4,500 data and analog lines. Cellular providers will be increasing service capacity and state-of-the-art technology will be installed to provide real-time access to convention activities for millions around the world.

About the Republican National Convention
The 2008 Republican National Convention will be held at Saint Paul's Xcel Energy Center from Sept. 1-4, 2008. Approximately 45,000 delegates, alternate delegates, volunteers, members of the media and other guests are expected to attend the convention. Minneapolis-Saint Paul is expected to receive an estimated $150-$160 million positive economic boost from the four-day event. For more information about the 2008 Republican National Convention, please visit our website at and join our social network sites on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and YouTube.