Quicken Loans Arena Deal Falls Short of Threshold for Early Passage; Final Vote Expected Next Week

The Cavaliers plan to add a glass atrium to the entrance of Quicken Loans Arena.
The Cavaliers plan to add a glass atrium to the entrance of Quicken Loans Arena. [Nick Castele / ideastream]

A plan to fund a Quicken Loans Arena expansion with admissions tax dollars fell one vote short of the two-thirds needed to pass on second reading Monday night at Cleveland city council.

The measure will go to another council vote next week, when it needs a simple majority to pass.

Voting against suspending the rules to pass the deal were Kevin Conwell, Brian Cummins, T.J. Dow, Jeff Johnson, Michael Polensek and Zack Reed.

he deal extends Cleveland’s admissions tax for another 11 years, through 2034, and is estimated to raise $88 million over that time period. Taxes on Q event ticket sales would help pay off $140 million in bonds sold to finance construction.

The Cavaliers are responsible for paying off half of those bonds. Cuyahoga County and the city have cobbled together several sources of revenue to make payments on the other half.

Those sources include money connected to the county convention center and hotel project, a portion of the hotel bed tax and an anticipated increase in sales tax revenue from the arena.

The faith group Greater Cleveland Congregations has put up resistance as pieces of the deal worked their way through county and city councils. The GCC asked for the deal to include money set aside for neighborhoods. 

The project would add a glass atrium around the main entrance to the Q. The Cavaliers plan to start work on it later this year. 

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