I-TEAM: New mystery surrounding I-X Center closing

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-Team is investigating secrets surrounding the closing of the I-X Center, a complex owned by the city of Cleveland where so many people in Northeast Ohio have gone for shows and carnivals over decades.

The I-Team asked for internal emails about the I-X Center. But, City Hall sent countless pages of records hidden by black boxes.

Last year, the company running the I-X Center said it would close for good. No more car shows, or garden shows, or carnivals and more.

In September, the I-X Corporation issued a statement saying it was closing the center due to the impact of COVID-19. And, the I-Team reported the corporation had fallen a million bucks behind in rent.

Now, consider this, the mayor’s office released hundreds of pages of e-mails. But, we could only read the lease for the complex and some chatter about setting up meetings.

Everything else, kept secret.

The President of the Progressive Cleveland Boat Show is among those wondering why?

“I just wonder what all the secrecy is about,” Michelle Burke said. “I would like to know what was really going on behind the scenes between the City of Cleveland and I -X Corporation.”

City leaders spoke about the I-X Center briefly in September at a news conference. But, they gave no indication of months of talking behind closed doors.

Of course, the I-Team wanted an explanation from City Hall about all of those blacked out records. The city sent a statement saying most involved “attorney-client privileged information.” And the city said, what’s been going on with the IX Center “raised significant legal issues.”

The boat show and others have their own legal issues with the I-X Center over events they won’t be able to hold there. And, while an announcement said the Center would be closing for good, the Center has since leased out a lot of space to a company for storage.

“It is unbelievable to me nobody can give us a straight answer,” Burke said.

And now, city records only add mystery.

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