It was cool walking through Time Warner Cable Arena Friday after its $7-million makeover. I joined about 4,000 people who did so during the open house and was struck by the number of people who brought their children and grandchildren on the tour.
Erika Burley-Wilson, a Charlotte dentist, held her 10-month-old son Ellis as she walked on the arena floor.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience right in our hometown," she said. "It’s an exciting time for Charlotte. We get to show what our great city is all about. And I brought him because -- even though he’s too young to understand it – I want to take photos and at least document that he was here."
Renee Alsop brought her sons directly after they finished a half-day of school – nine-year-old Cameron and six-year-old Evan.
"We wanted to see where history would happen," Alsop said. Said Cameron: "It was pretty cool to think where you’re standing is going to be on TV in a few days."
"I didn't think it would look like that," Evan said. "It's so big!"
My first column on the Democratic National Convention -- noting the similarities and differences between the DNC and some of the big sports events Charlotte has hosted in the past -- will appear in Sunday's Charlotte Observer and online. And there is a ton of good coverage -- and photos -- about the run-up to the DNC right here.