Quicken Loans Arena, also referred to as "The Q", is a multipurpose arena in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, United States. Until August 2005, it was known as Gund Arena, named for Gordon Gund, a former owner of the Cavaliers, after he paid for the naming rights. It is currently home to the Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA, the Lake Erie Monsters of the AHL, the Cleveland Gladiators of the AFL, and the Mid-American Conference Basketball Tournaments. It also is slated to host a portion of the first and second rounds of the 2011 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament.
The arena is built on the site of the former Central Market, a fruit and vegetable market that dated back to 1856. It replaced the Coliseum at Richfield, which was located between Cleveland and Akron. Part of the Gateway Project to revitalize downtown Cleveland, the arena and sibling Progressive Field were paid for with a sin tax on alcohol and tobacco.
Design and operationsEdit
"The Q" seats 20,562 for basketball, including 2,000 in the club seats, and 92 luxury suites. It is owned by the Gateway Economic Development Corporation, which leases it to the Cavaliers.
In 2005, Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert (owner of Quicken Loans) renovated the arena, installing new seats, state of the art scoreboards, video systems, sound systems, arena graphics, signage, security, locker rooms, and suite upgrades, all of which were in place for the start of the Cavaliers 2005-2006 season, except for the seats, which were replaced a few sections at a time.
In October 2009, the Cleveland Cavaliers announced that award-winning chef Michael Symon would contribute menu items to be prepared by foodservice firm Aramark at the Q. Two existing restaurants were renamed after Symon's bar-bistros, Bar Symon and The B-Spot, and some of his signature dishes were made available as suite catering offerings.
In addition to its professional sports tenants, "The Q" has been home to the Mid-American Conference's men's basketball tournament since 2000 and the MAC women's basketball tournament since 2001. "MAC Madness", as it is known, has become a strong draw for the arena. The men's semifinal and championship games routinely draw 10,000-15,000 attendees.
On May 16, 2006, the then-inactive Utah Grizzlies franchise of the AHL announced that it would move to the Quicken Loans Arena. On January 25, 2007, the team name was announced as the Lake Erie Monsters. It began play in the 2007-2008 season.
On October 16, 2007, the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena Football League announced that they would move to Quicken Loans Arena.
The arena was the home of the now-defunct Cleveland Lumberjacks of the IHL, the Cleveland Barons of the AHL, and the Cleveland Rockers of the WNBA.
The arena was opened with a concert by Billy Joel on October 17, 1994. The Cavaliers played the first game in the arena a few weeks later. Other artists that have performed at the arena include Metallica, The Rolling Stones, and Queen + Paul Rodgers.
On October 29, 2008, LeBron James gathered almost 20,000 people at the arena for a viewing of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama's 30-minute American Stories, American Solutions television advertisement. It was shown on a large screen above the stage, where Jay-Z later held a free concert.
The arena has been the site of WWF SummerSlam 1996, the 2000 US Figure Skating Championships, WWF No Mercy 1999, WWF Invasion, Survivor Series 2004, several episodes of Raw, Friday Night SmackDown!, ECW on Sci Fi, and NXT. It also hosted WWE Unforgiven 2008. Major national events held at the facility include the 1997 NBA All-Star Game, the 2007 NCAA Women's Final Four, and the 2009 United States Figure Skating Championships. It hosted games 3 and 4 of the 2007 NBA Finals.
The arena is slated to host a portion of the first and second rounds of the 2011 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament on March 18 and March 20, 2011.