With less than one month to go before Quicken Loans Arena opens its doors again for the start of the 2018-19 Cleveland Cavaliers, Monsters, concert and event season, work continues at a feverish pace. As it enters its 25th year of operation, the publicly-owned arena is being transformed into a state-of-the-art facility that will allow it to compete for years to come. The continuing project also has resulted in the extension of the Cavaliers lease at The Q, committing to the arena for at least 40 years since its original lease, which is among the longest facility tenures in pro sports.
Crews are making significant progress on both the exterior and interior renovations of the building, which will include the completion of several interior spaces by the time The Q re-opens this October. The project will be completed in October 2019.
The Q Transformation, made possible by a public/private partnership formed between the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and the Cleveland Cavaliers, will modernize the publicly-owned venue and allow it to compete for and attract high-profile events, improve the guest experience, and ensure that it positively impacts for the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, the community and neighborhoods, and the region for the long-term future. It will also extend the Cavs lease all the way to 2034 – putting the Cavs in The Q for at least 40 years total since they moved into the building in 1994, one of the longest terms in the NBA.
Dan Gilbert and the Cavs organization are committing an additional $45 million of private funding towards additional updates and improvements to The Q. This raises the team’s current private funding commitment to over $115 million, while the Transformation project’s total investment scope now grows to $185 million.
The original $140 million investment for the project was a 50/50 split with the Cavaliers committed to paying $70 million, plus covering any cost overruns. The Cavaliers’ portion of the funding will cover all non-public, club, suite, team, premium space, AV/LED, lighting and multi-media upgrades, as well as a significant portion of the public space updates, which includes concourse improvements and square footage increases.
The existing $70 million capped, public portion of funding will be repaid almost entirely from direct, arena event-related revenue sources and is being used to complete the remaining portion of the public space re-design, as well as the associated square footage increases. The revenue sources are primarily comprised of the existing Admissions Tax on tickets sold for events at The Q.