CLEVELAND (WJW) – The Cleveland Cavaliers are asking for more money to make upgrades to Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. It appears they’ll need public funding to make it happen.

This week the Cavaliers sent a letter to Gateway Economic Development Corporation asking for more than $28 million for upgrades. The team says they had engineers come in to tell them what they need updated over the next 10 years.

They’re asking for $9.8 million to replace elevators and escalators and $18.4 million to buy new broadcasting equipment. In the letter, the Cavs say the control room equipment and the elevators are at the end of their life.

According to Signal Cleveland, Gateway’s chairman told the Cavs the team only has $10 million left of its cut of the “sin tax.” Which means they’ll have to get the rest from public funding.

That is what they did for the $185 million arena transformation project that was unveiled in 2019. In that project, taxpayers funded a $70 million portion.

The money helped:

  • Increased floor space inside the arena by 60,000 square feet
  • 45,000 square foot glass atrium now extends across the length of the arena facing Huron Avenue
  • A multi-story aluminum curtain inside the atrium can be illuminated with lights to create colorful displays visible outside the arena
  • Added digital screens that allow fans to find directions to their seats and other places inside the venue.
  • A walkway with 2,200 square feet of LED screens covering its walls and ceiling connects the atrium to the arena’s concourse

This comes as the Cleveland Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam have also said they’re committed to a major renovation of the Cleveland Browns’ Stadium. The FOX 8 I-team detailed a study that showed a “fix it” list with a price tag of well over $35 million. You can learn more about those plans, here.

And, the Cleveland Guardians have also recently announced renovation projects to Progressive Field. Progressive Field is the 11th oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball. The improvements are expected to be completed over the next three years. More details on those plans can be found, here.