Reporters got a preview Wednesday of the arena as workers prepare for the DNC. Photo: Greg Collard Construction crews are almost done converting the Charlotte Bobcats' home into an event hall for the Democratic National Convention. When they finish next week, Charlotte-area residents are invited to take a free first look. Convention chief operating officer Theo LeCompte gave reporters a preview Wednesday of what you could see next week. "What you're seeing right here is our production team installing the elements of our podium, including, you can see, some video screens starting to go up," LeCompte said. OK yeah, it'll be an empty podium in an empty arena. But convention organizers think some in Charlotte will be excited to see the Time Warner Cable arena in all its glory for the Democratic National Convention. Temporary renovations cost $7 million. The open house is next Friday. Tickets are free but you need to sign up on demconvention.com. Once the convention begins, only those with event credentials will be allowed in the arena.