Cavaliers recommit $70 million to Quicken Loans Arena transformation project

CLEVELAND - The Cleveland Cavaliers have recommitted to helping fund the $140 million Quicken Loans Arena transformation project.

“We are excited to confirm our renewed capital commitment of over $70 million to help renovate and transform Quicken Loans Arena - a tremendous publicly-owned asset for our community," said Cavs and Quicken Loans Arena CEO Len Komoroski in a statement Wednesday. 

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The Cavs previously pulled out of the deal due to a prospective referendum being placed on the ballot. The organization said that addition of the referendum would "cause the groundbreaking of The Q Transformation to miss the current construction cycle, which pushes the overall price tag of the project higher due to rising construction costs." 

Last week, The Greater Cleveland Congregations announced that it has reached an agreement with the county and would, therefore, withdraw petitions challenging the deal.

In January, one month after the partnership was announced, the GCC rallied to demand transparency in the deal and that an equal amount of money be set aside for failing neighborhoods, education and other social needs.

The GCC said last week that Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish had "expressed committment...through mediators, to mental health and substance abuse crisis centers." 

On Wednesday, Executive Budish issued the following statement:

We’re excited the transformation project is back on track and we’re looking forward to the energy and positive impact this important economic project will bring to the region. Improving the Arena, creating and retaining jobs, and locking the Cavs down in Cleveland through 2034, all without raising taxes, is a big deal for northeast Ohio!

The county is taking steps to execute the sales tax revenue bonds for the project. We’re committed to an aggressive schedule to compete for the All-Star game and other events that bring attention, development and jobs to our city and county.

Mayor Jackson also issued a statement: 

First, I want to thank the Cavs for revisiting the Q Transformation Deal. throughout the process, my support for this agreement never wavered. My efforts have always been to create vibrant neighborhoods and a vibrant downtown. I've said it before - this deal is one of the best I've seen because it provides opportunities for all of Cleveland.

Those who demonized this process were shortsighted, and I encourage them to ask themselves what they can do for the future of this city. Strong leadership requires doing the right thing, not just saying what you think people want to hear.

I want to thank the local elected officials who publicly supported this project, including Cleveland city Council President Kevin J. Kelley and Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish. We received tremendous support from almost all city and county council. I also want to thank Congresswoman Marcia Fudge for her continued leadership, State Senator Sandra Williams and the countless community leaders, unions, churches and organizations who have assisted in this process.

Everything we've done in Cleveland that has been successful, we've done together as one city. This has always been a collaborative effort and I look forward to the opportunities it provides our citizens.

Read the full statement from the Cavs below: 

We are excited to confirm our renewed capital commitment of over $70 million to help renovate and transform Quicken Loans Arena - a tremendous publicly-owned asset for our community. At the same time, we’re very pleased to extend the Cavaliers lease with our landlord, Gateway Economic Development Corporation, for seven additional years at The Q until 2034. In other words, the Cavs will be a tenant at The Q in downtown Cleveland for at least the next 17 seasons.
     
We are very eager and enthusiastic to continue working side-by-side with our core civic partners on our shared vision and the numerous civic and community leaders and groups that have worked extremely hard to make sure this project excels and positively impacts downtown and Cleveland's neighborhoods in the full spectrum of ways that we have always believed that this well-thought out development would do.
    
Most importantly, we are proud to be part of a project that is going to create thousands of jobs and generate and grow additional, significant revenue and economic impact for our community and neighborhoods for many years to come.
    
The strong leadership of Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish and Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, along with Cuyahoga County Council President Dan Brady and Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley and the many respective County and City council members has been critical, as has the major support from United States Congresswoman Marcia Fudge. State Senator Sandra Williams has been a strong advocate of the project as well.
    
We are also pleased to continue this project with the support and engagement of a wide scope of civic, community and business leaders and organizations both locally and regionally, including the NAACP, the United Pastors in Mission, Cleveland Clergy Coalition, ACEE/Black Contractors Group, the Urban League of Cleveland, the Cleveland Building & Construction Trades Council, Laborer’s International Union Local 310, the President’s Council, Greater Cleveland Partnership, Downtown Cleveland Alliance, Destination Cleveland, Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, and others.

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