DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Don't expect to see construction crews at The Q Arena anytime soon.
Monday the Cleveland Cavaliers backed out of the $140 million renovation project.
"What does this mean for the City of Cleveland? This act means tens of millions of dollars that will not be going in the general fund that otherwise would've that the Cavs guaranteed as part of this deal," said Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley.
Kelley said he's disappointed. He supported the multi-million dollar project. Now, he fears the city-owned site will get older, more dated
and be phased out.
"We are the Rock and Roll capital of the world, what if we don't have an arena to have Lady Gaga? To have these other greats acts we have," Kelley said.
Why are the Cavs dropping out? The organization blames the project's late start. Construction was slated for June, but got delayed because of a possible referendum.
The people went out and they had 20,000-plus signatures to put it on the ballot," said Councilman Zack Reed.
The possibility of the referendum being added to the November ballot caused the groundbreaking to be pushed back, which the Cavs said ups the price tag and the interest rates.
Reed said he saw this coming.
"It doesn't surprise me under any circumstance. It was a terrible deal from the start," he said. "I'm not against spending money on sports facilities, but I'm against this deal in light of what's happening in our communities."
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson disagrees:
"The Q Transformation Deal was an economic development project that would have resulted in more revenue for the City of Cleveland. It would have created construction and permanent jobs, modernized the facilities and guaranteed the Cavs would remain in our city until at least 2034. The deal was an investment in Cleveland's future and the future of our neighborhoods. It was good for Cleveland and its people. This is a tremendous loss."
The Q is the oldest arena in the NBA without a major structural renovation.
Kelley now worries the Cavs won't stick around Cleveland.
"Option A, there's build a new arena, or there's build someone else in Northeast Ohio. They were in Richfield. Or, leave northeast Ohio. Options B or C, Cleveland gets zero dollars for a general fund," he said.
Destination Cleveland and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission said in a statement, "Destination Cleveland and Greater Cleveland Sports Commission supported the renovation of The Q to ensure a competitive arena with an NBA franchise remaining in Cleveland for the next generation. The dissolution of the deal also affects the city's ability to attract world-class sporting events that bring significant economic value to the community.
We're disappointed to hear the transformation will not move forward after such a strategic solution to fund the renovation was developed. With only half
of the funds coming from public sources, it appeared to be a very good deal for a city of our size."
According to the Cavs, the NBA All-Star Game would've brought in about $100 million dollars for the city. That'll likely be pulled, because it was contingent on the completion of The Q Restoration Project.