CLEVELAND, Ohio — The $185 million transformation of Quicken Loans Arena into Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse is finally complete, and fans headed to this weekend’s unveiling will discover a like-new facility.
When the doors open at 10 a.m. Saturday, long-time fans are likely not to recognize the place. Pretty much everything surrounding the playing floor and interior bowl has been redone, from floor (check out the terrazzo tiles) to ceiling (heightened, you will notice).
The Cleveland Cavaliers and owner Dan Gilbert believe their renovated home is now on a part with the nation’s finest arenas. You can judge for yourself by going to the FieldHouse website or the box office on Saturday to get free tickets to the re-opening event. The event runs until 7 p.m.
The overhaul was originally imagined as a $140 million project, split 50-50 split between taxpayers and the Cavs, with the Cavs covering cost overruns. The $70 million taxpayer portion primarily comes from taxes on hotel rooms and ticket sales, with a small portion from expected increases in sales tax generated by purchases in the arena.
The team’s 2018 injection of an additional $45 million brought the private portion to about 62 percent.
The overhaul extends the life of a 26-year-old facility — ranked by Pollstar as the country’s 11th busiest arena this year — without building anew and keeps the Cavs in the heart of downtown through 2034.
So, what does the place look like? Cleveland.com will be reporting on various…