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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and Cavs to Announce Plan to Renovate Quicken Loans Arena This Afternoon

Posted By on Tue, Dec 13, 2016 at 10:01 AM

click to enlarge ERIC SANDY/SCENE
  • Eric Sandy/Scene
Grab your wallets, taxpayers.

For two years now Cuyahoga County and the Cavs have been trying to figure out how to fund a renovation of Quicken Loans Arena. The improvements, which would include a broader "public footprint" and glass exterior, are needed to keep the arena competitive for major events, the team argued. Of the estimated $140 million total needed for the project, the Cavs had asked the county to cover half — $70 million. Part of that years-long conversation has been the county figuring out how to come up with that figure.

Recently, Cleveland.com reported that County Executive Armond Budish, as his county sits nearly $1 billion in debt, had asked Destination Cleveland to fork over part of the sum. The publicly funded local tourism agency would, in that scenario, send some of the collected "bed tax" revenue (i.e. money largely collected from out-of-towners) to the effort, probably through a bond effort.

The aim, it seems, is to find self-sustaining revenue streams because Cuyahoga County is simply out of money. "Our credit card is maxed out," Budish has said previously.

That recent news about Destination Cleveland's involvement is only a couple of weeks old, and Scene had heard there was momentum on all sides to get a deal done soon. That day has come.

This afternoon at 2:30, Mayor Frank Jackson, Armond Budish, Cavs CEO Len Komorowski, and David Gilbert and Dan Walsh from Destination Cleveland will hold a press conference to announce the transformation plan for the Q.

We'll update you on the details as they come out and weep with you as tens of millions of public dollars once again go to fund upgrades at a facility used almost exclusively for the profit of a billionaire.

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