The Cleveland City Council has approved funding for an upcoming renovation to Quicken Loans Arena, home of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Discussions have been taking place among area officials about funding the proposed $140 million renovation to Quicken Loans Arena, which was unveiled in December. The project–which will increase the venue’s interior space and lead to new amenities–calls on funding from Cuyahoga County, the city, Destination Cleveland, and the Cavaliers.
In a vote on Monday, the Cleveland City Council signed off on its contribution. Beginning in 2024, the city will contribute $88 million to project’s cost, with the payments spread out over 11 years and covered by funds from its admissions tax. While there was some debate among council members, the motion ultimately passed by a 12-5 margin. More from Cleveland.com:
Debate over the issue, was at times contentious. A group of six councilman — Zack Reed from Ward 2, TJ Dow from Ward 7, Mike Polensek from Ward 8, Kevin Conwell from Ward 9, Jeff Johnson from Ward 10 and Brian Cummins from Ward 14 — blocked the issue from being approved two weeks ago.
Monday was no different right up to the final vote. City Council chambers was filled with several hundred people, many vocal opponents of the deal.
Cummins sided with the majority Monday evening, becoming the 12th vote needed to make the ordinance effective immediately.
The Cavaliers have also come forward with additional agreements relating to the admissions tax, as well as funding for improvements to basketball floors at city recreation centers, and charitable contributions from watch parties at Quicken Loans Arena. More from Cleveland.com:
- The Cavaliers have pledged that the portion of the admission tax that goes to the city’s general fund will never fall below the portion directed toward debt service on the upgrades. If that happens, the Cavaliers will write the city a check for the difference.
- The Cavaliers have agreed to refurbish the basketball floors in city recreation centers, more than 20 in total. After the announcement the city confirmed that the Cavs will also refurbish high school basketball courts in Cleveland public high schools, as well.
- Additionally, the Cavaliers announced it will donate all admissions revenues from its road-game watch parties at The Q during the NBA playoffs to benefit Habitat for Humanity. Over the last two seasons, those watch parties have raised more than $1 million from admissions that was donated to several charities.
“The proposed Q renovation is an all-around good deal,” said City Council President Kevin Kelley. “But the deal just got better.”
The proposal has generated backlash in some circles, with the Greater Cleveland Congregations and Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus among the groups to have stated their opposition to public funding for the updates. The Cavaliers have touted the renovations as a way to ensure that Quicken Loans Arena can better accommodate major events in the future.