Cleveland City Council approves Quicken Loans Arena renovation deal with 12-5 vote

Posted at 6:25 PM, Apr 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-24 20:48:58-04

The Cleveland City Council approved the renovation deal for Quicken Loans Arena in a Monday night vote. 

The $140 Million renovation has been hotly debated during council sessions as some think the money should go to communities and the city's social services. 

Twelve votes secured The Q's future, while five votes opposed the decision. 

Ahead of the council vote, the Cavaliers made a few promises.

Council President Kevin Kelley says the Cleveland Cavaliers are "stepping up their ongoing commitment to the City of Cleveland." 

Cleveland City Council votes Monday night on proposed legislation that would extend the existing cooperative agreement between the City and the County for the distribution of the Q admission tax that currently goes to pay down debt on 90s-era Gateway bonds.

Project plans include a major structural enhancement and update that remedies original structural shortcomings of the facility.

The Cuyahoga County Council voted in support of the Quicken Loans Arena transformation in March.

In January, one month after the announced partnership to give Quicken Loans Arena a $140 million facelift, a group of local religious leaders 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.

"Let me state unequivocally we're not anti-Cavs, we're not anti-Q," said one of the members of the Greater Cleveland Congregations. "We can't just value this asset to the detriment of others."

According to a press release from the city:

1. The team guarantees that the city’s General Fund will get at least as much money as the amount collected from Quicken Loans Arena’s admission tax that is used to pay off The Q Transformation project debt.

2. The Cavs have will refurbish the 22 gymnasium floors in various city recreation centers.

3. The Cavs will refurbish the gym floors in all Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s high schools.

4. The team will donate all admission proceeds from this year’s road game watch parties at The Q during the NBA playoffs -- to Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity to continue and grow their support in our community’s fight against neighborhood blight. Over the last two years, this has totaled over $1 million dollars in local charity donations.

The Cavs will also donate at least a portion of the proceeds for the next two years to help Habitat for Humanity meet its goal to renovate 100 homes in the hardest hit neighborhoods of Cleveland, according to the city.

“The Cavaliers have always had a sense of giving back to the community,” said Council President Kelley. “Once again the team continues to show its commitment by guaranteeing an equal match of admission taxes between debt payoff and the city’s coffers.

About the renovation project

According to the city:

  • The $140 million Q Transformation project, scheduled to begin this summer, is to be jointly funded by the Cavaliers with 50% and the other 50% funded by Cuyahoga County and Cleveland.
  • It is also accomplished almost entirely with self-generated funding sources related to The Q, including the Admissions Tax which is 100% funded only by persons purchasing tickets to events at The Q.
  • There are also no new or increased taxes involved with the funding sources.
  • The City portion incurs zero risks with The Q Transformation agreement.
  • Any cost overruns will be the responsibility of the Cavaliers.