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Public To Pitch In Half Of $140 Million Upgrade At The Q

A model of the renovated arena. [photo: Matt Richmond / ideastream]

Taxpayers will be covering half of the cost of a one hundred forty million dollar upgrade of Quicken Loans Arena and the county will issue bonds to help pay for its share.

The Cavaliers organization wants to expand the concourses and entries into the Q. They also plan to add a glass exterior. The arena was built in 1994 and, if the work goes ahead, the Cavs would be signed on to play there through 2034.

Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish says an upgrade would be cheaper than building a new arena, or risking losing the Cavs to another city.

“We transform the Q into a world class facility. The average lifespan of an arena is 22 years, the Q is already 22 years old," says Budish.

The arena, and Progressive Field, are publically owned. The county would issue $70 million in bonds to pay its share of the project. They plan to use part of a hotel bed tax, admissions and sales tax revenue, along with savings from other projects to pay back the bonds over eighteen years. If the county and city councils sign off on the deal, work is expected to be completed in 2019.

Matthew Richmond is a reporter/producer focused on criminal justice issues at Ideastream Public Media.