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Journalists covering GOP convention review work space

TAMPA, Fla. -- About 400 journalists from around the world who will be covering the Republican National Convention got a chance to look over their workspace Monday during a walk through at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

The walk also included a review of workspace inside the Tampa Convention Center where journalists will occupy up to 354,000 square feet of space during the historic event.

"We have folks from all over, as far away as Asia, Australia, Europe, Canada... so it's really been a tremendous response to this event," said convention spokesperson James Davis.

Davis says 34 news organizations have paid money for a suite inside the Forum during the convention.

10 News, along with our newspaper partner USA Today, is among those renting a suite. Monday was the first chance news outlets got to go inside the Forum and look at the suite they'll be using during the convention.

Before the convention, most news organizations will be removing seats, cabinets, chairs, and other items inside the suites to make room for temporary anchor sets, lights, cameras, and other equipment.

Monday was also a chance to look at what type of cabling will be needed for transmitting broadcasts, pictures, and other content.

"A lot of (the counters and chairs in the suite have) to come out or it has to be protected and so the contractor will be covering it or removing it and then building anew to our specifications so we can get the kind of shot angles that we need to put out hosts in front of the camera with a great background of the convention space," said USA Today video director Steve Elfers before looking over the space that will be shared with 10 News.

The cost for renting space inside the Forum during the convention will not be cheap for news organizations. A radio booth is renting for almost $4,000, a broadcast spot on the convention floor is nearly $8,000, while suites are being rented for anywhere between $26,000 and $34,000.

Because of the changes that need to be made before the convention, both the Forum and Convention Center will close mid-July and work then kicks into high gear for the August 27th event.

The GOP Convention is expected to draw about 15,000 journalists to Tampa.


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