DNC unveils Charlotte stage ahead of convention

The Democratic National Convention Committee unveiled its stage in Charlotte’s Time Warner Cable Arena on Friday, Aug. 31, opening the facility to the public ahead of next week’s convention.

Thousands of people of all ages filed into the arena Friday to tour the setup. While access to political conventions is typically limited to delegates, politicians and the press, the DNCC’s goal is to make this convention open and accessible to the public.

The 2012 Democratic National Convention will run Sept. 4– 5 in the Time Warner Cable Arena before moving to the Bank of America Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 6, where President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will officially accept the Democratic Party’s nominations as the 2012 presidential and vice presidential candidates.

Every event at the 2012 DNC will be open to the public. Scheduled guest speakers include Mayor Anthony Foxx of Charlotte, former President Bill Clinton, North Carolina Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, Chicago Mayor (and former White House Chief of Staff to President Obama) Rahm Emanuel, and Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina, among others.

Though the DNC has taken place in many different U.S. cities since its inception in Baltimore in 1832, this year marks the first time the convention has been held in the state of North Carolina.

Meredith Oakley contributed to the story.