Quicken Loans Arena

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Quicken Loans Arena
"The Q"
The Q Qhicken Loans Arena.svg
Quicken Loans Arena 4.jpg
Aerial view in 2014 from Terminal Tower
Former names Gund Arena (1994–2005)
Location 1 Center Court
Cleveland, Ohio 44115
United States
Coordinates 41°29′47″N 81°41′17″W / 41.49639°N 81.68806°W / 41.49639; -81.68806Coordinates: 41°29′47″N 81°41′17″W / 41.49639°N 81.68806°W / 41.49639; -81.68806
Public transit Tower City-Public Square Station
Owner Gateway Economic Development Corp.
Operator CAVS/Quicken Loans Arena Company
Capacity Basketball: 20,562
Ice Hockey: 20,056 (contractible to 10,025)
Broke ground April 27, 1991
Opened October 17, 1994
Construction cost $100 million
($160 million in 2016 dollars[1])
Architect Ellerbe Becket[2]
Project manager Seagull Bay Sports, LLC.[3]
Services engineer URS Corporation[4]
General contractor Turner/Choice/Bradley/Zunt[5]
Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA) (1994–present)
Cleveland State Vikings (NCAA) (secondary; 2015–present)
Lake Erie Monsters (AHL) (2007–present)
Cleveland Gladiators (AFL) (2008, 2010–present)
Cleveland Crush (LFL) (2011–2013)
Cleveland Rockers (WNBA) (1997–2003)
Cleveland Barons (AHL) (2001–2006)
Cleveland Lumberjacks (IHL) (1994–2001)

Quicken Loans Arena, commonly known as "The Q", is a multi-purpose arena in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, United States. The building is the home of the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League (AHL), and the Cleveland Gladiators of the Arena Football League (AFL). It also serves as a secondary arena for Cleveland State Vikings men's and women's basketball.

The arena opened in October 1994 as part of the Gateway Sports and Entertainment Complex with adjacent Progressive Field, which opened in April of that year. It is named for the retail mortgage lender Quicken Loans, whose chairman and founder is Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert. From its opening until August 2005, it was known as Gund Arena, named for former Cavaliers owner Gordon Gund, after he paid for the naming rights. The Q replaced the Richfield Coliseum as the primary entertainment facility for the region and the home of the Cavaliers, and supplanted the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University, which opened in 1990, as the primary concert and athletic venue in downtown Cleveland.

Quicken Loans Arena seats 20,562 people in its basketball configuration and up to 20,056 for ice hockey, making it the 3rd largest arena in the NBA by seating capacity and the 7th largest in total capacity. It is a frequent site for concerts and other athletic events such as the men's and women's basketball tournaments of the Mid-American Conference (MAC), hosting the men's tournament since 2000 and the women's tournament since 2001. It has also been the host venue for the 2007 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Final Four, opening and regional semifinal games in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament, and the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in 2000 and 2009.


Arena logo from 1994–2005

The Q was preceded in downtown Cleveland by the Cleveland Arena, a facility built in 1937 with a seating capacity for basketball of approximately 12,000. Cleveland Arena was the first home of the Cavaliers in 1970, and was best known as the site of the Moondog Coronation Ball in 1952, widely regarded as the first rock and roll concert. It was also the home of an earlier professional basketball team, the Cleveland Rebels of the Basketball Association of America, the original Cleveland Barons ice hockey team, and hosted several games of the Cincinnati Royals of the NBA in the 1960s. By 1970, however, Cleveland Arena was outdated and in disrepair. The Cavs played there their first four seasons. It was replaced in 1974 by the 20,273-seat Richfield Coliseum, located in rural Richfield, in between Cleveland and Akron.[6]

During the 1980s, the site of the Central Market, a fruit and vegetable market that dated back to 1856, was selected for construction of a multi-purpose domed stadium for the Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Indians, but the ballot measure to fund it was defeated by voters. The market site was acquired in 1985 and cleared in 1987 in a continued push for new downtown sports facilities by city and business leaders. In 1990, voters approved a sin tax on alcohol and tobacco products in Cuyahoga County to fund the Gateway Sports and Entertainment Complex, which includes the Q and adjacent Progressive Field.[7] Construction began in 1992 with the ballpark opening in April 1994 and the arena in October 1994.[8][9]

Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert (owner of Quicken Loans) renovated the arena in 2005 shortly after his purchase of the team, 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.

Design and operations[edit]

The Q seats 20,562 for basketball, with 2,000 club seats and 92 luxury suites. Seating is divided into three levels, with two main levels of suites and five "platinum suites" on the event level. Around the seating there are two main concourses, one on the ground level to access the 100 level seating and 32 lower suites, and an upper concourse for the top 200 level seating. The lower concourse also includes the ticket office and the two-level main team shop. In between is the club level, which provides access to the 60 upper suites and club seating. Also on the club level is an auxiliary gym, which was used by the Cavaliers as their main practice court until the opening of the Cleveland Clinic Courts practice facility in 2007.

In the hockey and arena football configuration, capacity is 20,056. During most Monsters games, the upper level seating is closed and covered by a large curtain, reducing capacity to 10,025. In the basketball configuration, when the upper level seating is closed, capacity is listed at 11,751. 60% of the seating is located in the lower two levels.[10]

Scoreboard with flames during player introductions in 2014

The main scoreboard at The Q, nicknamed Humongotron, is the largest scoreboard used in an NBA arena. It was installed in October 2014 after Cavs owner Dan Gilbert had seen a similar scoreboard at the Toyota Center in Houston during the 2013 NBA All-Star Weekend. The scoreboard includes four large high-definition video screens with large sabers on each corner that can extend outward to shoot fire, usually as part of player introductions. The two screens facing the sidelines are 31.5 feet (9.6 m) high and 56.69 feet (17.28 m) wide, while the two screens facing the baselines measure 29.92 feet (9.12 m) high and 33.07 feet (10.08 m) wide.[10][11][12]

The arena, along with neighboring Progressive Field and an adjacent parking garage, is owned by the Gateway Economic Development Corporation of Greater Cleveland, an entity made up of members appointed by the governments of the city of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. Gateway leases the arena to the Cavaliers, who also manage the Lake Erie Monsters and the Cleveland Gladiators.[13] Food service is managed by Aramark and includes items contributed by award-winning chef Michael Symon. Two existing restaurants were renamed in 2009 after Symon's bar-bistros "Bar Symon" and "The B-Spot", and some of his signature dishes are available as suite catering offerings.[14]

Team sports[edit]


In addition to its professional sports tenants, The Q has been home to the Mid-American Conference (MAC) 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 American Hockey League announced that it would move to the Quicken Loans Arena. On January 25, 2007, the team name was announced as the Lake Erie Monsters.[15] 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, becoming the Cleveland Gladiators.

In 2015, it was announced that arena management and Cleveland State University came to an agreement where select CSU Vikings men's and women's basketball games would take place at The Q, while Quicken Loans Arena would essentially take over operations of the Wolstein Center (CSU's primary home arena), being in charge of promoting and booking events at the venue.[16]


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.

Notable events[edit]

Quicken Loans Arena 3.jpg

The arena opened with a concert by Billy Joel on October 17, 1994. The Cavaliers played the first regular season game in the arena a few weeks later, a loss to the Houston Rockets, on November 8, 1994.[17]

Major national sports events held at the facility include the 1997 NBA All-Star Game, the 2000 United States Figure Skating Championships, the 2007 NCAA Women's Final Four and the 2009 United States Figure Skating Championships. It also hosted games 3 and 4 of the 2007 NBA Finals and games 3, 4, and 6 of the 2015 NBA Finals.

Along with Raw and SmackDown broadcasts, numerous WWE pay per view events have taken place at the arena:

The arena played host to the politically motivated Vote for Change Tour on October 2, 2004, featuring performances by Bright Eyes, R.E.M., Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band and special guest John Fogerty.[18]

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.[19]

On July 14, 2010, American recording artist Lady Gaga played a sold out show grossing over $1.7 million in ticket sales.

The arena hosted games in the second and third rounds of the 2011 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament on March 18 and March 20, 2011. Included in the field were the Ohio State Buckeyes, which have historically had a large following in NE Ohio.[20]

Rush performed during their Time Machine Tour on April 15, 2011; the show was recorded and later released, as Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland, on November 8, 2011. The band stated that they chose to record their concert DVD here, due to Cleveland being the first U.S. city to give the band radio airplay and one of the first U.S. cities they performed in during the early 70s.[21][22]

The arena hosted the first Republican presidential debate, aired by Fox News Channel, on August 6, 2015.

Other major events at Quicken Loans Arena included ArenaBowl XXVII (the 2014 Championship game of the Arena Football League), and the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Regional Semi-Finals and Finals.

In July 2016, The Q will be home to the 2016 Republican National Convention.


  1. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  2. ^ "Quicken Loans Arena (formerly Gund Arena)". Ellerbe Becket.com. Retrieved July 7, 2010. 
  3. ^ Project Management Consultants: Project Profiles - Ballparks, Stadium & Arenas
  4. ^ PCI Journal - March/April 1994
  5. ^ Quicken Loans Arena at emporis.com
  6. ^ "Cleveland Arena". Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Case Western Reserve University. March 27, 1998. Retrieved December 15, 2015. 
  7. ^ Stoffel, Jennifer (June 13, 1990). "Real Estate; New Sports Complex for Cleveland". The New York Times. Retrieved November 7, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Central Market". The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Case Western Reserve University. March 25, 1998. Retrieved July 7, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Quicken Loans Arena". Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Case Western Reserve University. September 12, 2008. Retrieved December 15, 2015. 
  10. ^ a b "Quicken Loans Arena Fun Facts". Quicken Loans Arena. 2015. Retrieved December 16, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Sneak Peek At New Quicken Loans Arena HD Jumbotron" (Press release). Cleveland Cavaliers. September 25, 2014. Retrieved December 16, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Cavaliers Announce Quicken Loans Arena Is Now Home to NBA's Biggest Scoreboard" (Press release). Bleacher Report, Inc. October 27, 2014. Retrieved October 28, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Who We Are". Gateway Economic Development Corporation of Greater Cleveland. 2013. Retrieved December 16, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Acclaimed Chef Michael Symon Brings His Signature Menu to Quicken Loans Arena, in Partnership with Cleveland Cavaliers and ARAMARK" (Press release). NBA.com. October 2, 2009. Retrieved July 7, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Lake Erie Monsters coming ashore this fall", American Hockey League, January 25, 2007.
  16. ^ Q-CSU deal - The Q Arena.com
  17. ^ "Houston Rockets at Cleveland Cavaliers Box Score". Basketball-Reference.com. November 8, 1994. Retrieved October 5, 2012. 
  18. ^ 2004 Setlists at backstreets.com
  19. ^ "Jay-Z, LeBron James get out vote for Obama". MSNBC. October 30, 2010. 
  20. ^ "2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship". Quicken Loans Arena. March 19, 2010. Retrieved July 7, 2010. 
  21. ^ http://www.music-news.com/shownews.asp?nItemID=38015
  22. ^ http://www.2112.net/powerwindows/tours/Tours.htm#debut

External links[edit]

Events and tenants
Preceded by
Richfield Coliseum
Home of the
Cleveland Cavaliers

1994 – present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Orleans Arena
Home of the
Cleveland Gladiators

2008 – present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
E Center
Home of the
Lake Erie Monsters

2007 – present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
SeaGate Convention Centre
Host of the
Mid-American Conference Men's Basketball Tournament

2000 – present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Host of the
NBA All-Star Game

Succeeded by
Madison Square Garden