CLEVELAND– Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish announced plans to transform Quicken Loans Arena during a news conference on Tuesday.
Budish was joined by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, Quicken Loans Arena CEO Len Komoroski and Destination Cleveland President David Gilbert.
Budish said the Cleveland Cavaliers have offered to pay for half of the $140 million renovation project, which he called unusual. The county and city will fund the other half. The Cavs will also cover any overages in the project.
The county executive said The Q, “is the largest economic driver for our region.” It generates $245 million a year in direct spending and another $44 million in taxes for the area.
The tranformation includes:
-Making the arena’s interior more visible from the outside, making The Q more contemporart, inviting, marketable and better connected to the city.
-Create an enhanced, dramatic visual sense of arrival to downtown Cleveland with Gateway as its front door.
-Expand The Q’s public areas including critical entryways, concourses, neighborhood zones, and ancillary function space by almost 40 percent across mutilple event levels. This will also open up The Q, making outdated and bottle-necked public areas much less constricted.
-Provide large public gathering places for event attendees prior to events, during event breaks and for satellite activities at the occurring at the same time to main events in the arena bowl.
The renovation plan will not raise taxes. It will also not involve cutting funds to health and human services. Instead, Budish said money will come from Cavs admission taxes and hotel taxes.
The average lifespan of an arena is 22 years and The Q is already 23. The cost to build a new arena would be between $500 million and $750 million. The Cavs have signed a lease to stay at the facility for seven more years.
As part of the deal, the NBA promised to bring an All-Star week to Cleveland once the transformation is completed. Budish said the events could bring in $100 million in economic benefits.
The Cavaliers also agreed to donate 15,000 tickets a year to those in the community.