The on-again, off-again deal to renovate Quicken Loans Arena is back on the table as the Cleveland Cavaliers agreed to move forward with their initial plans, generating quality construction jobs for the area trades.
“We are excited to confirm our renewed capital commitment of over $70 million to help renovate and transform Quicken Loans Arena – a tremendous publicly owned asset for our community,” said Cavs CEO Len Komoroski in a Sept. 6 prepared statement. “Most importantly, we are proud to be part of a project that is going to create thousands of jobs and generate and grow additional, significant revenue and economic impact for our community.”
The improvement plans were withdrawn shortly after the Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus and the Greater Cleveland Congregation (GCC) submitted a petition on with more than 20,000 valid signatures to put The Q renovation finance deal on the ballot as a referendum issue.
The City of Cleveland and GCC went to court over the issue, and the Ohio Supreme Court ruled the initiative was valid and had to go before voters.
Following the court ruling, the Cavaliers and owner Dan Gilbert withdrew from the deal on Aug. 29, claiming the referendum delay would cost the team extra money due to the delayed construction start. Just two days after the Cavs ended the deal, on Aug. 31, the GCC announced they had officially requested to withdraw their petition referendum.
The deal came back together thanks in part to the United Pastors in Mission, who offered to mediate a discussion with both sides. The resumed renovation project is expected to create 200 construction jobs for Building Trades members and about 700 jobs at The Q.
According to Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council Executive Secretary and Business Manager Dave Wondolowski, construction started on the project within days of the Cavs announcing the deal was back on the table.
Upgrade work at the arena will include a new glass exterior, alleviating crowded concourses and creating pre- and post-event space for visitors.