High Stakes: Fans plead "Think Cleveland!" as Lebron contemplates - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

High Stakes: Fans plead "Think Cleveland!" as Lebron contemplates a big decision

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - It's killing Cleveland to know what The King will do.

Lebron James is officially a free agent.

The King says he hopes to make a decision by July 5.

More than fans, local businesses are anxious to know his future plans.

Jamille Patton has been scalping tickets on the streets of Cleveland for years.

He says, if Lebron leaves, big profits will go with him.

"When he came we all started to make a lot of money. Before we was just barely able to survive, now with him around you make a whole lotta money."

But on the other side of the street, veteran scalper Kenneth Taylor says Lebron leaving would be a good thing.

"It would actually help us, because more seats would be available."

Taylor says Lebron is so popular, corporate buyers now control most of the good seats. Which limits a scalper's ability to make a good living.

"People want to keep the seats and hold the seats and they are reluctant to sell because of Lebron. When Lebron is not here, there's plenty of tickets on the streets and that what we rely on because our business is like a supermarket more so than selling one ticket a high value."

There's no doubt what Lebron means to the Cavs.

Since he arrived seven years ago, attendance is up 40% and concessions, merchandise and parking are up 49%.

The value of the franchise has gone from 375 million to 476 million in the last five years.

 

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