Cuyahoga County Council Approves Quicken Loans Arena Expansion Deal

An artist's drawing of the proposed glass atrium to be built at Quicken Loans Arena. [Provided by the Cavaliers to Cleveland City Council]
An artist's drawing of the proposed glass atrium to be built at Quicken Loans Arena. [Provided by the Cavaliers to Cleveland City Council]

A plan to use taxpayer money for Quicken Loans Arena renovations took a big step forward Tuesday night.

Cuyahoga County Council approved legislation to borrow $140 million for construction of a new glass atrium at the Q’s entryway.

The public and the Cavaliers would both chip in to repay the bonds with interest, for a total debt service expected to exceed $200 million. See more details on the deal here.

“This isn’t only about the Cavs,” Democratic Councilmember Sunny Simon said in support of the proposal. “It’s about our building that we own as the public, and how are we going to maximize our building. How are we going to utilize this to continue the transformation that we’ve seen downtown?”

Republican Councilmember Nan Baker voted no, saying the deal was negotiated “in fear” of losing the Cavs.

“I am on the record for supporting a partnership with the Cavs management team, but this is not the deal that I can support,” Baker said. “I ask you to reconsider. Let’s go back to the negotiating table, and let’s do something that’s better for the taxpayer.”

Cuyahoga County Council voted eight to three in favor of the Q deal. 

Voting yes:

  • Michael Gallagher (R)
  • Pernel Jones (D)
  • Shontel Brown (D)
  • Anthony Hairston (D)
  • Sunny Simon (D)
  • Dale Miller (D)
  • Scott Tuma (D)
  • Council President Dan Brady (D)

Voting no:

  • Yvonne Conwell (D)
  • Jack Schron (R)
  • Nan Baker (R)

Also on Tuesday, Cleveland City Council gave a first hearing to a plan to help fund the deal with $88 million in admissions taxes collected at the Q from 2024 through 2034. 

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