CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena got initial approval of exterior plans for the arena's renovation project at a Cleveland City Planning Commission meeting Friday.
The biggest apparent change in the initial renovation plan is that a "wave" or "curtain" on the front of the arena was initially made of wood, and now will likely be constructed in a champagne colored aluminum.
The presentation compared the proposed aluminum to materials used in buildings in Switzerland and Botswana.
The new "curtain" is all part of an effort to make the arena more iconic and unique to Cleveland, Cavs and Q officials said.
"We have one of the top sports entertainment districts in the country and the vibrancy that you would expect for that creates that type of energy, excitement and anticipation about coming to the Q that frankly is lacking right now," Cavs and Quicken Loans Arena CEO Len Komoroski told the city's planning commission.
Freddy L Collier, the city's planning director, told the planning commission about mayor Frank Jackson's administration's support of the proposed plans.
Collier described the administration as "extremely supportive" of the plans saying that they had "looked at this in great detail."
"I just want to express the administration's support of this, this is, because obviously, this is a long time coming and we really want to move this forward and execute this as soon as possible," Collier told the commission.
Q arena officials also said the renovation plans would increase the usable space on the main floor of the arena by about 40,000 square feet.
The initial plans passed through the commission unanimously.
Cleveland 19 spoke to Komoroski after the meeting about the project, asking him why the planned deadline for the project is still September 2019, even though Cleveland didn't get the 2020 or 2021 All-Star Games.
"Well, it's, when you say expedited timeline, we've been ready to go relative to moving forward with the process. It behooves us, cause we are operating an arena, how to be able to get that done in a timely fashion," said Komoroski. "The sooner we can do that, the better for everyone."
During the meeting Komoroski described an anticipated "excuse our dust" atmosphere during the two-year renovation project. He also said that the project is consistent with other similar projects.
The Cavaliers had initially stated the renovations were at least in part to draw an All-Star game to Cleveland. In earlier court filings, the NBA had given the Cavaliers a Sept. 15 renovation start date in order to be considered for either of those games.
Cleveland 19 asked Komoroski if he thought that the delays and drama surrounding the renovation project contributed to Cleveland not receiving 2020 or 2021 All-Star games.
"I think we're extremely excited about our opportunities, our chances as it related to the previous deadline, the [NBA's] Sept. 15, unfortunately we weren't able to get fully completed with the project of financing, the bonding hadn't completed at that juncture. The league had a deadline and they had to make certain decision, which we respect, but they're already out in the market for 2022 [and] 23," said Komoroski. "We feel very, very good about our opportunity, chances in the near term for an All-Star game, and we're going to keep working in that direction."
Earlier in the week NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark issued a statement saying, "Cleveland is a great basketball city with some of the NBA's most passionate fans and we look forward to holding our week of NBA All-Star events in Cleveland in the near future."
Construction work is expected to begin on the arena in early 2018.