DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Statements continue to roll in from Cleveland and Cuyahoga County officials following the Cleveland Cavs' decision to walk away from the Quicken Loans Arena Transformation project.
The Cavs withdrew their support after construction on the $140 million publicly-owned facility project was delayed due to a prospective referendum being placed on the ballot by the Washington, DC-based Metro Industrial Areas Foundation, represented locally by the "Greater Cleveland Congregations" (GCC), Service Employees International Union District 1199 and the Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus.
The GCC issued the following statement in response to the news:
"This is a tremendous loss for Cleveland. This represents a loss of tens of millions of dollars that could have been spent in our neighborhoods. In the short term this means a loss of at least one thousand construction jobs scheduled to begin in September and the loss of the NBA All-Star Game," according to Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley.
The prospect of hosting the NBA All-Star game in 2020 or 2021 -- which Cleveland was in the running for -- will likely evaporate as the league had stipulated the Cavs hosting the marquee event was contingent on the completion of the nine-figure project.
"This is a significant loss for the community. It jeopardizes the future of two key economic generators: The Q and The Cavs. The deal would have guaranteed that the Cavs would stay in Cleveland through 2034 and it would have created and retained many hundreds of jobs for people living in our neighborhoods ... Contrary to misinformation put out by the opposition, the death of this deal actually means there will be less money, not more, available for social and community services for those most in need. By killing this deal, the opponents have harmed the future for our neighborhood residents." said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish.
It's been a tumultuous few months for the Cavs, given the Kyrie Irving trade, reported infighting and a rocky NBA Finals performance.