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Organization speaks against funding plans for renovations at Quicken Loans Arena

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Another local group is joining the fight against plans to renovate Quicken Loans Arena.

The Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus held a news conference on Friday. They are joining the Greater Cleveland Congregations Organization who recently demonstrated outside the Q. The groups are concerned that millions of dollars are being pumped into the downtown area while other areas of Cleveland aren’t getting the same economic attention.

In December, the Cavs and the county announced a $140 million plan to give the arena massive interior upgrades, as well as an exterior face lift.  The Cavs will pay $70 million and the county will pick up the balance with money from the bed tax, savings on other construction projects and sales tax from events at the arena.

Pastor Richard Gibson, Co-chair Greater Cleveland Congregations, said, “We're not anti-Cavs, were not anti-Q. We view it as a tremendous resource here, but we also know there are tremendous needs in our communities. Whether it’s infant mortality, lead, after school activities, joblessness, we think that money has to and again it could be a dollar for dollar match. If there’s an investment here, we believe, there needs to be a comparable investment in our neighborhoods and community.”

The Greater Cleveland Congregations say ultimately they would like to see a fund created to help the community that would match the cost of the renovations dollar for dollar.

The Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus is encouraging Clevelanders to join them at the next County Council meeting on Feb. 14.

(More on the transformation here)