The DNC: Big idea to reality for the Queen City
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CHARLOTTE -- With a grand idea and lots of determination, the city of Charlotte officially entered the race to host the 2012 Democratic National Convention on Jan. 13, 2010.
"We're a modern growing southern city in a battleground state," said Mike Crum, the COO for the Charlotte Regional Visitor's Authority.
A half year later the Queen City made the cut, being named one of the four finalists to host the convention.
"There is no reason Charlotte shouldn't be on top of the list," said Crum.
In July, 2010 DNC officials came for a visit to Charlotte, spending two days looking at all of the venues and facilities.
"We are not just a new South, we are a new America," said Gov. Bev Perdue.
Then the waiting game began.
Weeks and months went by as the city eagerly awaited the decision, which came on Feb. 1, 2011.
"Hot damn, wasn't that good news," said Cammie Harris, a lead fundraiser for Charlotte in 2012.
The city found out it would host the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
"This is going to be one of the greatest conventions ever held in this country," said Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers.
That's when the real work began planning what many could only describe as a logistical nightmare.
On Sept. 6, 2011, exactly one year from the day President Barack Obama would accept the nomination, a kickoff celebration was held at Time Warner Cable Arena.
"As we go through this next year, every day will make a difference," said Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx.
Four months later, the Democratic National Committee proudly walked onto the field of Bank of America Stadium changing the whole plan.
Obama would accept the nomination in the stadium and the opening day CarolinaFest would be held at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Months later, the DNC changed the CarolinaFest location back to uptown.
Then, this summer the DNC received the keys to Time Warner Cable Arena beginning a flurry of activity turning the sports arena to a convention hall in just weeks.
"The convention is a once-in-a-lifetime moment for Charlotte," said Foxx.
With less than four weeks to go before the start of the convention, the security plan was finally released and shed some light on just how problematic it would be to keep center city open for business during the convention.
"We've been in this planning mode for the past 18 months," said CMPD Chief Rodney Monroe.
All eyes now set for the first week in September as Charlotte makes history.
"This is the place where so many of the most historical moments in the 2012 election cycle will happen," said Foxx.