"Q" upgrade funding debate continues

(Cleveland) - Cuyahoga County council members continue to debate a plan to use millions of dollars in public money to to help fund improvements at Quicken Loans Arena. 

Cavaliers CEO Len Komoroski told lawmakers he's hoping that they will give the go-ahead, so construction can begins as soon as the NBA post season is over.

Komoroski feels if work can be completed by 2019, the NBA might agree to bring the 2020 All Star Game to Cleveland. 

Activists are demanding that any taxpayer money spent on upgrading the "Q", be matched with dollars to improve life in the inner city.

Komoroski contends, compared to teams in other markets, the Cavs are paying more than their fair share. 

Attorney Ben Patakas claims most economists give these kinds of a deals a thumbs down. Patakas says Cuyahoga County has more pressing needs than an arena upgrade. 

The proposal could cost $282 million over 17 years, and would include loan interest and creation of a rainy day fund.

Under the renovation plan, the Cleveland Cavaliers would pay $122 million in increased rent payments. 

The City of Cleveland would provide over than $88 million from the admissions tax on Quicken Loans Area tickets from 2024 through 2034.

Destination Cleveland would provide $44 million from its share of the county bed tax. Cuyahoga county would contribute $16 million from the reserve fund created for the Convention Center and Hilton Cleveland Downtown hotel. 

Lawmakers may take a vote on the funding proposal in several weeks.

(Photo by Ken Robinson/WTAM)

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