The Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday announced that they have pulled out of a project that would have renovated Quicken Loans Arena, one of the oldest venues in the entire NBA.
The Cavaliers and owner Daniel Gilbert had agreed to commit $70 million on the project with public funds covering the other $70 million. But a delay in the renovation and an upcoming referendum for public funding forced the Cavaliers out of the project altogether.
“The Cleveland Cavaliers announced today the cancellation of their participation in The Q Transformation Project of the publicly-owned Quicken Loans Arena,” the team announced on its official website.
More so than renovating one of the most rundown venues in the NBA world, this project would have likely brought the All-Star Game to Cleveland in 2020 or 2021 — creating a $100 million economic boon for the downtrodden city. If that weren’t enough, the project was also set to renovate 40 basketball courts and gyms in the downtown area.
This is just the latest example of the Cavaliers showing themselves to be anything but a first-class organization. Sure delays on the construction impacted the team’s bottom line. But that’s par for the course when it comes to erecting new venues and renovating old arenas/stadiums.
It’s also possible that the Cavs’ decision to back out of the project could be a precursor to the team expecting LeBron James to leave in free agency. Why commit tens of millions in cold hard cash to renovate an arena that won’t filled anywhere near capacity?
In any event, this most definitely isn’t a great look for the three-time defending Eastern Conference champions.