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Quicken Loans Arena

Cleveland, OH

Home of the Lake Erie Monsters

4.0

4.1

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.

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Monsters at the Q

The Lake Erie Monsters are an AHL (American Hockey League) team who plays their home games at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, OH. The Quicken Loans Arena (known as the ‘Q’) is more known as the home of the NBA Cleveland Cavaliers. It is also home to the Arena Football League team the Cleveland Gladiators and the Mid-American Conference (MAC) men’s and women’s basketball championship tournaments. It is a splendid facility in which to watch a hockey game and is located in the downtown area.

The professional game of ice hockey has been in Cleveland since 1929. An educational and entertaining video of the history is displayed on the new Humongotron (center ice video scoreboard) prior to the game. Cleveland ice hockey team history includes:

* Cleveland Indians (IHL – International Hockey League) 1929 – 1933

* Cleveland Falcons (IHL – International Hockey League) 1934 – 1936

* Cleveland Barons (AHL – American Hockey League) 1936 – 1973 ** the most successful team in the AHL

* Cleveland Crusaders (WHA – World Hockey Association) 1972 – 1976

* Cleveland Barons (NHL – National Hockey League) 1976 – 1978 ** who remembers this NHL franchise?

* No professional hockey in the Cleveland area from 1978 - 1992

* Cleveland Lumberjacks (IHL – International Hockey League) 1992 – 2001

* Cleveland Barons (AHL – American Hockey League) 2001 – 2006

* Lake Erie Monsters (AHL – American Hockey League) 2006 – present day

Beginning the 2015 – 2016 season the Lake Erie Monsters became an affiliate of the NHL Columbus Blue Jackets after an eight year affiliation with the Colorado Avalanche. This affiliation change makes sense to me as both Columbus and Cleveland are in the same state of Ohio and should create some additional Ohio pride and synergy.

4.0

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

A wide variety of concessions are available at a Monsters game, though not all stands are open depending on the game attendance.

Quaker Steak & Lube is a full-service restaurant located on the main concourse of the 'Q.' It offers award-winning wings and casual American dining. The B Spot, a Michael Symon restaurant, is also on the main concourse near the team store. Here you can get delicious burgers, beers, shakes and other assorted offerings.

See-Saw Pretzel Shop furnishes delectable variations of the twisted treat ($6 - $8); Nacho Loco provides Mexican fare with a nacho grande costing $7; Elmore Smith's Smokehouse has BBQ and pulled pork/chicken sandwiches ($9.50 - $11); Cleveland on the Rocks has wine and cocktails while Twist-n-Stout provides soft pretzels and craft beer.

Beer prices generally run $9.25 for a domestic 24 oz beer with 16 oz craft beer running at $8.25. Beers on offer include Bud Light, Coors, Miller Light, Yuengling, Mike's Hard Lemonade, and the Cleveland specialty, Great Lakes Brewing Company's Christmas Ale.

Friday night home games are known as 1-2-3 Fridays. Sodas (Pepsi brands) are a $1, hot dogs are $2, and select draft beers are $3. An excellent value.

Atmosphere    3

A Monsters' game at Quicken Loans Arena has some brilliant features and there are also a few that are less than radiant.

The Humongotron (installed in Oct, 2014), a center hung scoreboard/video board, is the crispest, clearest, and nicest I have seen at any arena. It is spectacular and is hung at just the right height where you can still somewhat ignore it and still watch the play on the ice and watch the video board only for the replays. A new audio system was installed at the same time and it is very crisp and distinct as well. Music volume is suitable but the PA announcers (both the male and female variety) are painful to listen to because they are annoyingly screeching loud. Pregame, when asking ushers questions (which you have to shout directly in their ear for them to hear), there is no way an answer can be heard as the PA announcers are screaming through the speakers.

The Monsters' do play a lot of hockey songs which is always nice to hear. A real impressive starting lineup is displayed on the video board pregame.

All seats seem to have a good view of the ice. All are cushioned and have cup holders. The seats have minimal leg room but are a bit wider than those in many arenas. Section 108/109 puts you center ice facing the benches. The top level is closed for most of the Monster games.

Like to hear the crash of bodies against the board, the sound of a puck connecting on a pass, the scrape of the skating blade as it comes to an abrupt halt, and the roar of a crowd at a great save? Then don't sit in sections 101 or 118, rows higher than 11. The cheerleaders stand behind those sections and all you can hear is the swish of pom-poms; not the sounds of the game. They also get in the way as they traverse down those aisles after a Monsters goal preventing some fans from seeing the celebration on the ice.

The ice crew, known as the Mullet Brothers, have mullet hair styles, taped up black framed glasses and do a terrific job at clearing the ice and keeping fans entertained. They remind me a bit of the Hanson brothers from the move Slap Shot.

At the games I attended, not all the ushers made me feel welcome but none made me feel unwelcome and all were willing to assist patrons.

Neighborhood    5

Cleveland is often referred to as the "mistake by the lake." I must disagree. It is splendid city to visit with plenty of tourist attractions, places to eat and drink, and hotels to kick off your shoes and relax.

Quicken Loans Arena is part of the Gateway District in Cleveland, a revitalized downtown area full of restaurants, shops, and architecture. Be sure to spend some time walking the historic neighborhoods. I'd recommend visiting the early part of the hockey season or the later part of the season if planning on outdoor excursions as it can get frigid in Cleveland in the winter months.

For places to eat in and near the 'Q,' I'd recommend the Winking Lizard (excellent beer selection), Harry Buffalos, or Erie Island Coffee Co (delicious caffeine brews for your morning walk). Close to 60 places for food and drink are in the neighborhood (local and chain) so be sure to do your own exploring when visiting Cleveland.

Spend a few hours at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (about a mile away - it is walkable, depending on weather). Lose some money at Ohio's only casino the Horseshoe Casino, check out Heinen's grocery store located in the majestic former bank - the Cleveland Trust Rotunda Building (c. 1908), or go shopping at Tower City Center or the 5th Street Arcades.

The Radisson is across the street from the 'Q' and is a pleasant, comfortable hotel to spend the night. Other hotels within walking distance include the Hilton Garden Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Hyatt Regency.

Downtown Cleveland provides free trolleys in which to visit all the attractions and neighborhoods the city has to offer.

Fans    3

There's a good family crowd and the arena is quite populated for Monsters games. And as with most Ohio sports, fans are passionate and vocal.

Attendance averages between 7,000 and 8,000 and the Monsters are generally in the top five of all AHL teams in terms of number of spectators. It is nice to see lots of kids in the stands.

Many fans do leave early if the Monsters have an exceptional lead or disadvantage in the third period.

Access    4

Getting to the 'Q' can be quite easy via car or train.

If flying in for the game, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) is the choice airport. You can take the train (Red Line) from the airport to within a few blocks of Quicken Loans Arena (Tower City; Public Square Station) for $2.25.

If driving, be cautious as lots of construction is occurring on the streets of Cleveland in anticipation of the Republican National Convention in 2016. Routes to downtown may change due to the road construction.

Plenty of parking is available ranging from $20 right across Huron Rd to $10 a block away. Gateway East Garage on Huron Rd E seems to be the most popular and is adjacent to the 'Q.' Click here for a parking map.

When entering the venue expect to walk through a metal detector and have your bags checked. Security does sporadic wanding of fans after they pass through the detector.

The entire lower concourse can be walked and there's plenty of room. Directions to seating sections and other areas are clearly marked on the lower level concourse. If you get a club seat, you can't walk the entire second level concourse as they have what looks like a buffet or dining area right in the middle of the concourse and you can't walk through it without a special ticket. That is a big disappointment as a visiting fan so I wouldn't recommend the club level seats unless you have those special tickets.

Return on Investment    4

Attending a Monsters game can be very affordable and is worth the price of admission.

Ticket prices range from $10 - $69 (glass seats) with most seats priced at $17 - $30. If you are an AAA member, you get a discounted rate on a ticket. Be sure to use that perk. The Monsters offer family pack deals for as low as $59. This includes a photo, four tickets, and food credit. Check their website for dates.

$1 - $2 - $3 Fridays help with food costs ($1 soda, $2 hot dog, $3 select draft beer every Friday night game).

Taking the train to the venue will cost no more than $5 round trip.

Extras    5

A lot of additional items make attending a Lake Erie Monsters game worthwhile.

The ticket office individuals are quite helpful and remember patrons (me).

The team store is mostly Cavalier merchandise but a decent section of Monsters' goods are available upstairs. Both hat pins and pennants are available for collectors of those items.

Rosters of both teams and a game program are available at racks at all entry gates without charge. Sweet!

Kid's activities are abundant at the 'Q' and include poster creation (which are displayed throughout the game on the Humongotron), face painting, and puck shooting games on the concourse.

Banners from the Cleveland Barons days are displayed from the rafters.

Ever so interesting are the informative tidbits about Ohio and Cleveland portrayed above the portals into the arena. Very nicely done and worth strolling the first level concourse to read them all.

Final Thoughts

Would I go back? Yes, I'd go back but in warmer weather to see the parts of Cleveland I didn't get to see and the Q's next door neighbor Progressive Field. Perhaps a double header with the Cavaliers would be do-able. Check out a Monsters game and check out Cleveland. It's a better city to visit than most folks imagine.

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

Q & AHL

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.

Feel Like a Monster

Total Score: 4.14

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

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.

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Local Food & Drink

Thirsty Parrot  (map it!)

812 Huron Road East

Cleveland, OH 44115

(216) 685-3200

http://www.hrcleveland.com/tparrot.php

Harry Buffalo  (map it!)

2120 East 4th Street

Cleveland, OH 44115

(216) 621-8887

http://www.harrybuffalo.com/

The Greenhouse Tavern  (map it!)

2038 E 4th St

Cleveland, OH 44115

(216) 443-0511

http://thegreenhousetavern.com/

City Tap Cleveland  (map it!)

748 Prospect Ave

Cleveland, OH 44115

(216) 696-2337

http://www.citytapcleveland.com/

Great Lakes Brewing Company  (map it!)

2516 Market Ave

Cleveland, OH 44113

(216) 771-2085

http://www.greatlakesbrewing.com/home

Michael Symon's Lola  (map it!)

2058 E 4th St

Cleveland, OH 44115

(216) 621-5652

http://lolabistro.com/

Flannery’s Irish Pub  (map it!)

323 Prospect Avenue E

Cleveland, OH 44115

(216) 781-7782

http://www.flannerys.com/

Red, the Steakhouse  (map it!)

417 Prospect Ave

Cleveland, OH 44115

(216) 664-0941

http://www.redthesteakhouse.com/

The Butcher and the Brewer  (map it!)

2043 E 4th St

Cleveland, OH 44115

(216) 331-0805

http://www.butcherandthebrewer.com/

Winking Lizard  (map it!)

811 Huron Road E

Cleveland, OH 44115

(216) 589-0313

http://winkinglizard.com/

Gillespie's Map Room  (map it!)

1281 W 9th St

Cleveland, OH 44113

(216) 621-7747

http://www.maproomcleveland.com/

Local Entertainment

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Museum  (map it!)

1100 Rock and Roll Blvd

Cleveland, OH 44114

(216) 781-7625

http://rockhall.com/

Corner Alley  (map it!)

402 Euclid Ave

Cleveland, OH 44114

(216) 298-4070

http://www.thecorneralley.com/

Hilarities Theatre  (map it!)

2035 E 4th St

Cleveland, OH 44115

(216) 736-4242

http://www.pickwickandfrolic.com/shows/hilarities-4th-street-theatre/

Horseshoe Casino - Cleveland  (map it!)

100 Public Square

Cleveland, OH 44113

(216) 297-4777

http://www.horseshoecleveland.com/

Lodging

Hilton Garden Inn Cleveland Downtown  (map it!)

1100 Carnegie Avenue

Cleveland, OH 44115

(216) 658-6400

http://hiltongardeninn.hilton.com/en/gi/hotels/index.jhtml?ctyhocn=CLEGWGI

Radisson Hotel – Cleveland Gateway  (map it!)

651 Huron Road

Cleveland, OH 44115

(216) 377-9000

http://www.radisson.com/cleveland-hotel-oh-44115/ohcleve

Holiday Inn Express Cleveland Downtown  (map it!)

629 Euclid Ave

Cleveland, OH 44114

(216) 443-1000

http://www.ihg.com/holidayinnexpress/hotels/us/en/cleveland/cleoh/hoteldetail

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