The work to renovate Quicken Loans Arena has begun, potentially giving the Cleveland Cavaliers a chance to host an upcoming NBA All-Star Game.
One of the selling points of the $140 million renovation to Quicken Loans Arena was the chance to bring the NBA All-Star Game to Cleveland, with the Cavaliers targeting the event in either 2020 or 2021. An effort to place the city’s financial contribution to the project on a voter referendum put the chances of landing the game in question, as the NBA had said Cleveland’s that it would consider other options for those games if work did not begin by September 15.
However, now that the petitions have been withdrawn and the Cavaliers have resumed their participation in the project, work is underway. Construction crews began work at the venue on Thursday, and officials will continue to push the All-Star Game bid. More from The Cleveland Plain Dealer:
The league notified the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission in July that if work on the upgrades at the arena was not underway by Friday, Sept. 15, the league would consider bids from other cities and make awards for those two years.
Cleveland Sports Commission President and CEO David Gilbert, in an interview Thursday, said that efforts to land the bid continued even while Greater Cleveland Congregations, the Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus and Service Employees International Union District 1199 sought a referendum on Cleveland’s commitment of tax dollars to the project. Petitions for the referendum have since been withdrawn.
“We’re definitely continuing to work with the NBA on the bid,” Gilbert said. “There is definitely high demand. Many cities are bidding. But we believe there is strong interest in Cleveland.”
Gilbert and the Cavaliers both said there is no definitive date for when the NBA will announce a decision.
As part of the project, Quicken Loans Arena will receive a new glass front and improved gathering spaces. The arena originally opened in 1994.
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