Work at Wells Fargo Center setting stage for DNC, media, protests

    Tents are being constructed outside of the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia ahead of the DNC (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

    Tents are being constructed outside of the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia ahead of the DNC (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

    Construction is underway at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia as preparations for the Democratic National Convention ramp up.

    The Rev. Leah Daughtry, CEO of the DNC, said the convention took over the sports complex on May 28.

    “We are in the process now of building out our arena, which of course includes the stage and what you will see on television,” Daughtry said, “But it also includes the wiring, the voting system, the backstage areas, everything that you don’t see on camera, but that we need in order to make our convention function.”

    Hundreds of union workers are also helping to erect large media tents in one of the Wells Fargo Center parking lots to accommodate the thousands of national and international reporters expected to cover the event.

    Also in the works is a “demonstration zone” for protesters in FDR Park across the street from the arena, complete with bathrooms and misting stations.

    As the convention draws closer, the U.S. Secret Service will put up “no-scale” security fencing around the sports complex and set up security checkpoints with magnetometers. The federal agency has not yet specified the boundaries of the fencing, but it will not include the demonstration zone.

    About 50,000 people are expected to come to Philadelphia for the DNC, which will be held from July 25 through 28.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.