Aerial photo of Quicken Loans Arena. Home of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Image Credit: Jon Dawson (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Quicken Loans Arena, home of the Cleveland Cavaliers, has announced that it will implement a $140 million renovation that will be completed in 2020. The announcement, however, has sparked outrage with area residents who feel that public dollars would be better spent on the city’s lackluster economy, infrastructure and public school system.

The Cleveland Cavaliers organization and taxpayers will split the costs of the renovations. Taxes on Cleveland Cavaliers tickets and downtown hotels will pay for most of the arena’s renovation costs. Smaller sales taxes will also be added onto alcohol and merchandise sold at the arena. According to, it is imperative that Quicken Loans Arena makes these upgrades if it wants to continue to attract the top concerts and attractions which bring revenue to the central business district. Dan Gilbert and the Cleveland Cavaliers organization are adamant about bringing another NBA All-Star game to Quicken Loans Arena. The arena last hosted the NBA All-Star game in 1997 when the venue was known as Gund Arena and was virtually brand new.

The Cleveland Plains-Dealer newspaper also claims that Quicken Loans Arena has small concourses and entrances, is tough for fans to navigate, has no gathering space for fans before games and fans are forced to stand outside in the cold when entering the arena. The renovations will include expanding the arena to Huron Street in downtown Cleveland, thus, increasing space for bars, restaurants and other gathering places. The total square footage of the arena after the renovation will be in excess of 150,000 square feet. The exterior will be made of glass façade which will allow for a lot of natural light into the arena. The “Loudville” section on the upper level of the arena will also be renovated.

The Cuyahoga County Council has already approved the issuance of $140 million in bonds so that the construction can begin immediately this summer. The Cavaliers will also extend their lease with the city/arena through 2034. Dan Gilbert and the Cavaliers have also committed to refurbishing the basketball floors of the city’s high schools and will donate revenues from playoff game “watch parties” to Habitat for Humanity. Economists have suggested that stadiums and arenas for sports teams do little to stimulate the economy in the long run. However, try to imagine what a ghost town downtown Cleveland would be if the Cavaliers fled to another city. 




Related Articles