Plans for a Quicken Loans Arena renovation are now moving forward, as the Cleveland Cavaliers have affirmed their commitment to the project.
Late last month, amidst a push to make the City of Cleveland’s financial contribution the subject of a voter referendum, the Cavaliers announced that they would withdraw their participation in a proposed $140 million renovation of the arena. The plan called for the Cavs to pay about $70 million of the cost, and extend their lease from 2027 to 2034.
However, last week the Greater Cleveland Congregations withdrew petitions to place Cleveland’s contribution–$88 million in admissions tax revenue over 11 years, beginning in 2024– on a voter ballot, meaning that the renovation plan might be able to move forward. The Cavaliers confirmed on Wednesday that the project will proceed, while work could begin in a time frame that allows Quicken Loans Arena to host an NBA All-Star Game in the coming years. More from The Cleveland Plain Dealer:
If construction begins by mid-September, the Cavs may salvage the opportunity to host the NBA All-Star game in 2020 or 2021. The Cavs said that issue is still to be determined.
Cleveland Council President Kevin Kelley said: “I am very pleased that Cavaliers have agreed to continue with the Transformation Project. This deal is an economic boom for the City of Cleveland. It saves and creates thousands of jobs; generates tens of millions of tax dollars for the city’s general fund; and keeps the Q competitive in attracting events and concerts. The Cavaliers have guaranteed that the city’s portion of admission tax collections will always be at least as much as the amount collected for arena debt payments and that money, I want to stress again, comes from the pockets of those who buy tickets to get in The Q arena. It is not a municipal tax on Cleveland residents.”
Greater Cleveland Congregations, which led the referendum drive and sought a dollar-for-dollar match of the $140 million for neighborhood investments, agreed to the withdrawal of the petitions due to the county’s commitment to mental health and substance abuse crisis centers.
In addition to contributions from the city and the Cavaliers, the renovation project will receive funding from Destination Cleveland and Cuyahoga County.
RELATED STORIES: Petitions for Quicken Loans Arena Referendum Withdrawn; Cavs Withdraw from Quicken Loans Arena Overhaul; Petition Could Force Referendum on Quicken Loans Arena Funds; Quicken Loans Arena Renovation Could be Review by Ohio Supreme Court; City to Fund Quicken Loans Arena Improvements; Cleveland Closer to Funding Quicken Loans Arena Renovation; Funding Approved for Quicken Loans Arena Renovation; Proposed Quicken Loans Arena Renovation Moves Forward