Cavaliers Parade Brings Clevelanders Back Home
The Cleveland Cavaliers raised spirits in the region Sunday night when they won the NBA Championship but the team is still boosting local business downtown. A victory parade tomorrow (Wed) morning is attracting people from all over. Ideastream’s Mark Urycki filed this report . .
Workers are erecting a stage, loudspeakers, artist’s tents, and video screens on Mall B, the grassy roof of the Convention Center for a rally at the end of the parade.
Rob Kerwath of 2XD Productions in Los Angeles got a call Monday morning to get to Cleveland. He’s overseeing the construction with local teamsters and stagehands
“Let’s see we have 70 hands on site and then production staff between vendors and staging we probably have another 45 or 50 and we’ll pretty much go around the clock until after this show.”
It’s busy for downtown hotels as well as people are flying to Cleveland for the parade. Dale Morrison Wallenhorst of the new Drury Plaza Hotel downtown says all of their 189 rooms are booked for the rest of the week.
“Clevelanders, local people, people that lived here. People that moved recently and are coming home, and people who want to see why all eyes are on our city right now.”
It’s a similar story at the Wyndham Hotel in Playhouse Square. Sales Manager Erin Holter says it is sold out tonight, tomorrow and Thursday. And why?
“Clevelanders coming home, fans of Cleveland. I know my dad says he’s never seen a championship game so all of his friends are coming back into town. My grandparents are flying up from Florida. So I mean it’s just tons of native Clevelanders that are coming back up to feel all the good energy that’s coming up.”
The parade will go close by the Drury, newly opened in the former Board of Education building. Wallenhorst said selling out is a little unusual.
“Very uncommon for a Wednesday night,” she laughs. “It’ll be great practice for the RNC which happens in about three weeks.”
That’s what Abdul Albow at the recently opened Schofield Hotel thinks.
“I know I worked the night of and the morning after – the championship, after the Cavs won. And to see how well the city was cleaned and responded to the huge crowds was awesome. “
Wearing Cleveland on Your Sleeve
The usual bars and restaurants do well with downtown crowds on game nights. But stores selling Cavaliers gear are doing especially well after the championship.
Tony Madalone, owner of Fresh Brewed Tees in Cleveland says interest jumped when Sunday night’s game ended.
“The demand has been pretty crazy. The second the clock hit 000, people were buying online. They like anything that says “world champions” on it, and I think our top seller is one that says “I’ve waited my whole life for this.” And right behind that is World Champions, that’s in gold, and it says WORLD CHAMPIONS big and bold with the trophy on it."
Same interest at the Cleveland Clothing Co. on 4th street. They’ve been selling Cleveland pride since 2008 but now it’s in high gear, says Assistant Manager Taylor Vizcarrondo.
“We have been running slowly out of shirts right now but we did just get this new shirt in for the championship. It says “Won and Golden” and has “World Champs” on the back. But right now we’re running out with what we have.”
Vizcarrando predicts especially good business when many out-of-towners come in for the Cavaliers parade.
Akron is getting some champion love too. LeBron James is making an appearance in his hometown with some of the Akron Public School students he’s been supporting. He’s scheduled for an even at Lock 3 in downtown Akron Thursday evening at 7:30.