CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Massive renovations planned for the home of the Cleveland Cavaliers are a step closer to reality. Tuesday night, the Cuyahoga County Council approved a multi-million dollar makeover of The Q.
In an 8 to 3 vote, the Cuyahoga County Council voted to approve issuing $140 million in bonds for a major renovation to Quicken Loans Arena.
The approval comes despite the objections of protesters outside of the county administration building, who feel the money should be used to enhance neighborhoods.
"That seems silly when half the people that live around me can't afford to be going out to enjoy whatever new and exciting things might come to Cleveland because of the Q's renovations. Why would you vote to make that better instead of making the city better for the people that live in it," said one west side Cleveland resident.
The improvements would include a glass enclosure around the current structure, and larger concourses in an effort to ensure the Cavs stay in Cleveland and the city can continue to attract major events like the Republican National Convention. Some downtown business owners support the plan.
"We have a team owner in Dan Gilbert who has put his money where his mouth is. He has brought us a winner, and more importantly his company has brought hundreds of jobs to Clevelanders," said one downtown business owner.
"The Q is at the center of the great city that we have here and we have to keep an asset such as the Q as state of the art as possible," said a businessman who owns nine restaurants.
"We've negotiated in fear, we have a fear of losing the Cavaliers," said council member Nan Baker.
"Voting on this deal now is not fiscally prudent," said council member Yvonne Conwell.
A few council members oppose the plan, but most believe it benefits Northeast Ohio.
"It's not about a glass facade, it's about an extension of a superstar tenant," said council woman Sunny Simon.
"If I could build three Qs and I thought it would bear the weight, I would build it because the money that comes in, I'd take it, we'd take it and we'd it into the community," said Pernel Jones, Jr., Vice President of county council.
The project is not a done deal yet.
Cleveland city council must also approve the measure. The city would agree to continue giving admissions taxes through 2034. They are holding hearings, one was held earlier on Tuesday. A final vote is not expected until sometime next month.