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Quicken Loans Arena

Cleveland, OH

Home of the Lake Erie Monsters



Quicken Loans Arena (map it)
1 Center Court
Cleveland, OH 44115

Lake Erie Monsters website

Quicken Loans Arena website

Year Opened: 1994

Capacity: 20,562

There are no tickets available at this time.


Local Information


Feel Like a Monster

Attend a Lake Erie Monsters game at Quicken Loans Arena and the song will not leave your head, serving as a reminder of the excitement and first class experience produced by one of the more popular teams in the American Hockey League (AHL). The ‘feel like a monster’ chorus (of ‘Monster’ by the band Skillet) rings out after each Monsters goal and is cheered on mightily with an average attendance of 7,730 fans, ranking the franchise fifth in the AHL and well above the league average of 4,949 in 2014-2015 at the time of this review.

The history of professional hockey in Cleveland requires an arduous explanation. The Cleveland Indians (no, not those Cleveland Indians) were part of the International Hockey League (IHL) in 1929, changed their name to the Falcons in 1934, then the Barons in 1936 when the IHL merged with the AHL. Through 1973 the Barons were the most successful team in the AHL until moving to Jacksonville. One year earlier in 1972, the Cleveland Crusaders started playing in the World Hockey Association (WHA) and lasted for two seasons. In 1976, the Oakland Seals of the NHL moved to Cleveland and reincarnated the Barons nickname. Cleveland enjoyed NHL hockey until 1978 when the team merged with the Minnesota North Stars, who eventually moved to Dallas (and won a Stanley Cup 1999). Minor league hockey returned from 1992-2001 with the Lumberjacks of the IHL then the Barons (again) of the AHL from 2002-2006. The Lake Erie Monsters were born in 2006 when Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, resurrected the defunct Utah Grizzlies of the AHL.

Since starting play in 2007 the Monsters have enjoyed a steadily increasing fan base and a reputation for an enjoyable night of hockey. This is achieved by taking advantage of playing in a first class facility at Quicken Loans Arena and employing similar game day presentation and activities as their big brother, the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Monsters have built a brand that attracts family-oriented entertainment and simultaneously caters to hockey enthusiasts.


What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    4

Standard concession items are available at stands appropriately named 'FANFARE' throughout the arena. Adding to the already affordable family night out, Friday nights at Monsters games are synonymous with $1 Dollar Dog Nights.

A $7.50 soft drink in a souvenir cup comes with one free refill that must be used that night and a $7.25 large popcorn has unlimited refills. The Monsters offer expedited 'fast track' lanes at concession stands for members of the Monsters Hockey Club, an exclusive benefit to season ticket holders.

Coldstone Creamery, Dippin' Dots (still the ice cream of the future), Giorgio's Pizza, and Quaker Steak and Lube are a few of the specialty options open for Monsters games.

Beer options include Bud Light, Coors, Miller Light, Yuengling, Mike's Hard Lemonade, and the Cleveland specialty, Great Lakes Brewing Company's Christmas Ale.

Cleveland on the Rocks is open for spirits and specialty cocktails while craft beer fans will rejoice with the newly minted 'Twist and Stout' (section 123), aptly titled for the beer selection and soft pretzels. Those watching what they eat will enjoy 'Just 4U,' which features gluten-free, low sugar, vegetarian, and kosher options.

An area where concessions fell flat during this visit was the unavailability of arguably the most popular food option in the arena, B Spot, a burger, beer, and shake concept from local celebrity chef, Michael Symon. Located on the main concourse near the team shop, B Spot draws lines of fans at almost every Cavaliers game but remained dark for this Monsters home games. Stands vary from event to event and several factors are reviewed to identify what concession locations to open. Fans are encouraged to follow @TheQFoods, @TheQArena, and @monstershockey for information on which concepts and promotions will be available for a specific event. When top draws like B Spot are closed, fans have even more reason to go outside of 'the Q' to satisfy the hunger for quality food. The Monsters have decided to open the specialty concept concessions for at least one upcoming home game, including B Spot, Elmore Smith's Smokehouse (barbecue), and See-Saw Pretzel Shoppe by local celebrity chef Jonathan Sawyer.

Atmosphere    4

Like the Cleveland Gladiators of the Arena Football League, the Lake Erie Monsters take advantage of playing in a luxury facility. Installed for the 2014-15 Cavaliers season, the 'humungotron' HD scoreboard, as dubbed by owner Dan Gilbert, takes center stage and is the focal point of anything not related to game play. The state of the art scoreboard has four screens, a live feed of the game, replays, and boasts a sophisticated sound system. Arena entertainment plays fun and upbeat songs to keep fans moving, but also mixes in classic rock for the standard hockey demographic (see Motley Crue, AC/DC). Four ancillary scoreboards are in the upper deck in each corner of the facility.

All upper level seating is curtained off for Monsters games and takes capacity attendance down from 20,000+ for basketball to a manageable and intimate 12,000+ for hockey. The cheapest ticket is $10 and will be in the lower bowl, ensuring there is not a bad seat to be had. As seats get closer to the glass, tickets can get a little pricey, with price points hitting the $10, $15, $19, $23, $29, $40, $42, and $67 marks. Two levels of suites encompass the arena and are placed just below the closed off upper bowl and between the lower bowl and club level.

The main entrance is located where E. 4th Street meets Huron Road and is also home to the will call entrance, team shop, and access to the most convenient parking structures. With crowds roughly 60% the size of a Cavaliers game, lines and gates all over the arena move quickly. Once inside, fans can grab the free 'Face Off' program and take advantage of plenty of kid's activities.

The wine hued seats are comfortable, angled towards center ice, and match the color scheme of all teams who call Quicken Loans Arena home. The primary Monsters logo dons center ice with the secondary 'CLE' logo and the @monstershockey twitter handle featured throughout the frozen pond. Plenty of cross-promotion of owner Dan Gilbert's other business ventures and hockey standbys (CCM, AHL, etc.) are featured on the boards surrounding the playing surface. The best sections for optimal viewing of the ice are in C124-C127 and C107-110, which also act as the club level. Seats in the standard 124-127 and 107-110 sections are closer to ground level but enjoy the same sightlines.

Monsters mascot Sullivan C. Gull (get it?), better known as Sully, seems to constantly be among the fans to either pump them up or give the kids high five. Joining him throughout the game in the lower bowl are the 'Monsters Hockey Girls' cheerleaders.

Neighborhood    4

With games taking place during the cold and blustery Cleveland winter, take advantage of the Walkway to Gateway, a completely indoor skyway connecting Quicken Loans Arena and Tower City Center. The 15 minute walk allows fans to go from the Horseshoe Casino, restaurants, shopping, and a couple hotels without ever stepping foot outside. Highly recommended is the Horseshoe Casino buffet and their new craft beer and sports bar, Tag.

If you are walking from one of the many parking garages and are looking for a drink or bite to eat, East 4th Street is the place to go. Hockey fans will enjoy Flannery's Irish Pub or Harry Buffalo for something a little more casual. If upscale is your preference, Red the Steakhouse tops the list with the Greenhouse Tavern and the Butcher and the Brewer close behind. Post game, stop at Nick's Sports Corner or Moriarty's Pub, the two best dive bars in downtown Cleveland.

Like almost any event in the city center, the Downtown Cleveland Alliance's 'Clean and Safe Ambassadors' are on the scene almost 24 hours a day to help with directions and ensure a secure experience. Cleveland police routinely assist fan and pre and post game traffic control.

Fans    4

With average attendance for Monsters games almost 50% above league average, it is safe to say the fans here are loyal and love their hockey. As you would expect, there are quite a few Monsters sweaters in the crowd but there are just as many Penguins (closest NHL team), Avalanche (parent club) supporters, in addition to the Cavaliers, LeBron, and Browns gear.

As this is minor league hockey, do not expect large travelling contingents of visiting fans. The people in attendance seem to be either die-hard hockey fans, families out with their kids, or the curious and casual sports fan.

The song 'Monster' by the Christian rock band Skillet accompanies Monsters opening introductions and after every goal. Inspired by the infamous Hanson Brothers, the 'Mullet Brothers,' Jake, Nick, and Jason, are part of the action and help with cleaning-up the ice between whistles.

Access    4

Located next door to Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians, Quicken Loans Arena is located in the heart of downtown Cleveland. The skyline, buildings, social scene, and sports presence gives Cleveland a big city vibe. Unlike Cavaliers home games, fans will be pleasantly surprised with the affordable $10 price tag to park in most garages, friendliness of the locals, and access to the arena. Some surface lots are as low as $5 but be mindful of snow accumulation while at the game. Ramps to all major highways are minutes from the arena and Cleveland Hopkins Airport is 20 minutes away.

Luxury hotel options, the Ritz-Carlton and Renaissance, are both connected by the aforementioned walkway to the arena and more moderate options, such as the Hampton Inn and Residence Inn, are within a short walk. The parking garage on Huron Road across the street from Quicken Loans Arena tends to always be $2-$5 cheaper than the facility connected to the arena and adds a minute to the walk. Public transportation on the RTA rapid can get you from points east and west to and from the game for less than $5.

Concession lines, restrooms, and general flow of the arena are as smooth as possible. With the upper bowl closed and facilities built for crowds larger than twice the size of an average Monsters game, access to any amenity is a breeze.

Flash Seats, another brainchild of Dan Gilbert, is a paperless ticket entry system. Fans can enter by simply swiping a registered identification or credit card and avoid having to worry about paper tickets. The technology works well to buy, sell, and transfer tickets to almost any event at Quicken Loans Arena.

Return on Investment    5

A night out at the Monsters game exceeds expectations and provides an enjoyable night at the rink. Whether you are a hockey enthusiast, casual fan, or out with the family, value and quality are stamped on everything the team does. Starting with the discounted parking outside the arena (compared to Cavs and Indians games) and all tickets starting at $10 to the lower bowl only setup and $1 Dollar Dog Nights, the Monsters hit all the right notes. Add the use of the 'humungotron' scoreboard and A+ in-game presentation, and it is hard to think of a better way to spend a Friday evening.

Extras    4

The Monsters earn extra points for the free services and amenities available to fans, including the Face Off program and multitude of activities for kids. They also receive points for the diverse theme nights (mullet celebration, Browns, Cavaliers, 'Pink the Rink') and discounted concessions ($1 Dollar Dogs are a Friday staple). A final extra point is awarded for the inclusion of local hockey programs before and during games. Top high school matchups routinely play before some home games and youth teams are featured between periods.

All Monsters games are aired on WKNR 850AM and WHK 1420 with WUAB 43 and Fox Sports Ohio televising select games.

The team shop takes the title for having the most diverse and extensive of any minor league sports franchise. Official sweaters are the highest priced option ($125), with tee shirts ($18), sweatshirts ($40), pucks ($6), and mini sticks ($8) being some of the most popular souvenirs.

Final Thoughts

While it is hard to replicate the intensity and rivalry of a packed 'Original 6' matchup of the NHL, the Lake Erie Monsters have the next best thing, a professional hockey team and electrifying stadium experience. Already near the top in league attendance, if the excitement on and off the ice continues, the Lake Erie Monsters may have to raise the curtain on the upper deck to allow more people the opportunity to 'Feel Like A Monster'!

The 2010-2011 season was the first time the Monsters made the playoffs since Dan Gilbert brought the franchise to Cleveland. Although Lake Erie lost in the first round it was an exciting 7 game series which probably educated some of the younger fans on the intensity of playoff hockey. Previous to that series it had been my experience that the crowd rarely made noise directly in relation to the game. "Noise" signs on the scoreboard, video board hijinks and the wave did the trick. I hope that the crowd is gradually becoming one that is more aware of things like power-plays and penalty killing to bring them to life. Sometimes the off-ice entertainment actually draws attention from key moments. For example, on too many occasions just as a penalty was being called against the opposition, something came blaring out of the sound system unrelated to the game action. Don't get me wrong. I appreciate the "side-show" and its importance to the overall package. I just think a bit more judicious use of the items in the bag of tricks would help to make this a more difficult place for the opposition to play.

Cleveland had a long and successful tradition in the AHL before the advent of the WHA and then the NHL's version of the Barons. Each season the management has done a bit more to build some connections to that tradition, as well as the Browns, Cavs and Indians which have helped to make the Monsters fit in as one of Cleveland's pro sports teams, even if minor league. Special warmup and game uniforms and many creative promotions keep the place hopping, especially on post-Super Bowl weekends.

Finally, don't forget the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University as a fourth sports venue not too far away.

by estimatedprophet | Nov 29, 2011 12:07 PM

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Crowd Reviews


Total Score: 3.71

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 1

For the 2011-2012 season, the Lake Erie Monsters celebrate their 5th year in Cleveland at Quicken Loans Arena and this may be one of their more successful years so far. With the prolonged NBA lockout and interest in the NFL Browns waning, the Monsters might be able to capitalize on a relatively vacant Winter sports scene.

Lake Erie shares the Arena with the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers and so the venue is first-class. Dan Gilbert of Quicken software fame owns both teams. Coupled with the Colorado Avalanche serving as a worthy parent, the Monsters continue their progress on the ice and are looking to accomplish great things during the 2011-12 season.

Quicken Loans Arena was built in 1994 and still looks like it is brand new. The transformation after the NBA's Cavaliers changed their uniform color scheme led to the replacement of seats to feature a red hue. The concourses are palatial and make for a great place to attend a game.

Monster Pucks

Total Score: 4.00

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 3

Cleveland’s history of pro hockey hasn’t seen the kind of success you might expect for an area that has long been the state’s traditional home of hockey at the amateur level (Since 2000, 11 state champs in boy’s hockey have been from the area). Cleveland’s history of pro hockey dates back to the late 1920s. A notable run was made by the (first) Cleveland Barons in the American Hockey League. The Barons existed from 1937-1973 and won 10 Calder Cup championships over that time.

There have been two major league hockey teams in town, though both were short runs with limited success. The Cleveland Crusaders played in the upstart World Hockey Association for 4 seasons (1972-1976) and failed to draw an average of more than 7,000 fans a game despite making the playoffs in all four seasons. With local fans seemingly unwilling to accept the team as truly “major league”, after the ‘76 season the team moved.

Richfield Coliseum wouldn’t sit without hockey for long as the Cleveland Barons name was resurrected in the summer of 1976 for a franchise in the NHL. The Barons only lasted two seasons, 1976-1978, before the team was ended. Oddly enough, both Cleveland teams would play a role in Minnesota’s pro hockey history, when the Crusaders were eventually moved to St. Paul to become the second incarnation of the WHA’s Minnesota Fighting Saints and the Barons were folded into the NHL’s Minnesota North Stars.

Additionally, minor league teams calling Cleveland home were the Lumberjacks (ECHL, 1992-2001) and yet another iteration of the Barons name (AHL, 2001-2005).

The Monsters came to be in 2007, after Dan Gilbert, owner of both the NBA’s Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena, bought an inactive American Hockey League franchise. The name is in reference to a local legend, “Bessie”, a giant, snake-like creature that inhabits nearby Lake Erie’s waters with supposed sightings dating back to the late 1700s.

In addition to the Cavaliers, Quicken Loans Arena is shared with the Cleveland Gladiators of the Arena Football League.

A Monster Of a Time

Total Score: 4.43

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 4
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 4

The Lake Erie Monsters is the best sport in Cleveland, Ohio. The fast paced and hard hitting action is top notch to keep everyone going during a game. These young guys are out to make it to the NHL and are trying to prove themselves. The atmosphere at The Q is always fun and imaginative.

As a 1st season Monster Hockey Club member (season ticket holder) I have had nothing but the best experience at every game. Its never a dull moment at the games. The food choices could be better but who could go wrong with Dollar Dog and Soda night on Friday nights. Also for college students on weekday night games you can get in for cheap. Thursdays are Thristy Thursdays with $2 beer and $5 margaritas. I don't recommend kids on Thristy Thursdays.

Mostly weekend games are played and there are plenty of things for kids to do. For adults there is a new 50/50 for the 2013/14 season which gets up to $2,000-3,000 on good nights. The 50/50 benefits the Monsters Community Fund and is sometimes paired with other charities on special nights. After every game the Ohio Lottery sponsors Chuck-a-Puck where you can buy foam pucks with numbers on it onto the ice post game for a chance at winning $250 on weekday nights and $500 on weekend games.

Overall the experience will leave you wanting more. I always look forward to getting back and watching the action.

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