Greater Cleveland Congregations Withdraws Petition for Quicken Loans Arena Renovation Referendum

Sep 1, 2017

Greater Cleveland Congregations has withdrawn its petitions to put the Quicken Loans Arena renovation deal before voters.  The project involved an estimated $88 million in public money from Cleveland to help finance the project.  GCC wanted the city to commit money to community benefits or put the issue before voters. For Ohio Public Radio, WCPN's Annie Wu reports on the brokered agreement.

On Monday, the Cavaliers withdrew its commitment to help finance the renovation of Quicken Loans Arena, citing construction delays and increased costs as a result of the referendum. Three days later, the Q transformation project may rise from the dead.

“Because we believe in a God that rose up on the third day and we believe that God can also raise up this deal," says the Rev. Aaron Phillips of the Cleveland Clergy Coalition, which helped broker a deal between Greater Cleveland Congregations and Cuyahoga County.

Phillips says he hopes the Cavs will now reconsider the renovation project. In exchange for GCC withdrawing its petitions, County Executive Armond Budish committed to put extra funding into opioid and mental health treatment, according to the Rev. C. Jay Matthews.

"[It] will include maybe new facilities or renovated facilities, but again, that’s all going to be based on resources," Matthews says.

A statement from the Cleveland Cavaliers says the team is “very encouraged” by the news.