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Quicken Loans Arena

Cleveland, OH

Home of the Cleveland Cavaliers

4.6

4.1

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


Cleveland Cavaliers website

Quicken Loans Arena website

Year Opened: 1994

Capacity: 20,562

There are no tickets available at this time.

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View of the Q

In 1994, ­Gund Arena opened as a downtown home for the Cleveland Cavaliers after many years at suburban Richfield Coliseum. Built in tandem with the Indians’ Progressive Field next door, the two venues became the anchors of the city’s Gateway District.

The dark days when Lebron was in Miami are long gone along with the Cavs run of missing the playoffs all four of those seasons. In 2015, the rebuilt squad fought their way to the NBA Finals amid sellout crowds every night. In 2016, fans are firmly entrenched behind the team as they gear up for another playoff run.

4.6

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    5

The breadth of choices should be commended here as the Q's food program offers something for all tastes. There's the requisite arena choices, but they are augmented with stands from some of Cleveland's renowned chefs like Michael Symon and Jonathan Sawyer, a full ­service Quaker Steak & Lube restaurant as well as some expanded offerings for the health ­conscience or those following vegan diets. You can see the whole list of offerings on the Quicken Loans Arena concessions page.

If you attend numerous games, there're also special features at stands like Topped Hot Dog Stand or the Launch Test Kitchen. If you keep an eye on the ​@TheQfoods​ twitter account, you'll see special offerings like the Frito­Pie dog at Topped or menu offerings in line with theme nights.

Aramark, the Q's food service manager, introduced the Launch Test Kitchen concept for the 2015-­16 season and is another way for people to get to experience Cleveland's underrated food culture as some of the city's other chefs create menus that are only offered for a short time. Fans can then vote on their favorite dishes and those with favorable responses may be brought on as permanent menu options. As you may expect, this can be costly, but this is an opportunity to experience something unique to the arena setting.

The beer selection is a good mix of the big domestic brands and local craft brews. Cleveland's own Great Lakes Brewing, who have been making award­ winning beers since the late 1980s, is here as was the limited­ release, Cav­-branded All For One American IPA from The Brew Kettle in nearby Strongsville, which is rated highly on ​Beer Advocate​.

Some of the recommended dishes would definitely be the Cleveland "Nachos" from Roccos at the Q, potato chips covered with parmesan fondue, bacon, scallions and more. I would also recommend Symon's B Spot Burgers as a whole, which does burgers, fries and milkshakes on another level.

Atmosphere    5

Welcome to the show! The pre­game is a ceremony with intro videos on the gigantic scoreboard sometimes coupled with 3D projections on the floor. These projections are somewhat commonplace now, but the Cavs were one of the first big teams to bring it into their game presentation just a couple seasons ago. This short clip was from the 2015 Finals:

Cavaliers Finals 2015 Court Projection from Quince Imaging on Vimeo.

The four-­sided scoreboard is currently the largest board in any arena in the country (soon to be eclipsed by Sacramento) and features four swords in the corners that belt out fire. Then you have PA announcer/arena host Ahmaad Crump's belting out his signature introductions for each player. I get that some may not enjoy the sensory overload, but I imagine most fans can't help but get hyped for the game.

Neighborhood    5

Quicken Loans Arena (and Progressive Field next door) sit along the southern edge of Cleveland's Gateway District. There are around 60 bars and restaurants within a short walk, along with a number of major hotels. The aforementioned Michael Symon and Jonathon Sawyer both have their flagship restaurants here along with concepts like Symon's Mabel's BBQ​, and Sawyer's ​Noodlecat​. The 24 ­hour JACK Casino, with its own collection of restaurants, sits outside the eastern edge of the district.

It's a bit further than many options, but the microbrewery ​Hofbrauhaus​ has an outpost a short cab ride or 15 minute walk north of the arena.

There are a number of historic structures in and around the area, including the Soldiers & Sailors Monument at Cleveland Public Square and The Arcade, which opened in 1890 as the nation's first indoor shopping and has been refurbished in recent years.

Check ​ClevelandGatewayDistrict.com​ for a full list of shops and restaurants in the area, parking lots/garages along with information on walking tours on the historic buildings that make up the district.

If you're looking to stay in the area, be sure to check for packages related to Cavs games. For example, the ​Hilton Garden Inn​ on Carnegie is a 10 minute walk from the arena and offers a package that includes parking (as most places around here charge for it) and breakfast for four as part of your room rate.

Fans    5

Since Lebron James' return, Cavs fans have sold out the Q every game. There's a great energy surrounding the team, even with the disappointing ending in 2015. The fans are ready for the Cavs to fight their way back to the Finals and to be that team that gets the city its first major title win since 1964.

It will be interesting to see how the fans respond to impending ​ticket price hikes​ on season tickets, but clearly demand is there so the team should have no problems selling out the 12,000 seat allotment.

Access    3

Be sure to allot time to get to the parking garages. Though police are out directing traffic, Ontario Street can easily get backed up as people get off the highway. The District site also provides this helpful ​map of parking areas​.

If you want to try your hand at ­street parking, check the area around Carnegie Street and the Erie Street Cemetery west of Progressive Field. Meters are enforced until 6pm but you'll need to show up much earlier than that to have a shot at a space.

Major construction on I­-90 and I-­77 further complicates matters and you should expect highway changes until at least the end of 2016.

For those outside of downtown, the RTA's four light rail lines all connect to the Tower City Station, which is connected via walkway to the arena. As well, the BRT HealthLine runs to the Public Square from the eastside and many of the city's bus lines traverse the area.

Return on Investment    5

The 2016 edition of the Fan Cost Index (a calculation of four tickets, food/drink and other costs) ranked the Cavs 22nd of the 30 NBA teams with a price of $274.48. With demand so high, you'll find a seller's secondary market so it'll remain difficult to save money there, but luckily you can lessen the impact of parking and food to make the night out much more tolerable on the wallet.

On the court, the Cavs are one of the league's top teams with one of the best all-time players. A Central Division win in 2015 on the way to a Finals appearance and in 2016 they earned an Eastern Conference title with a 33-­8 home record at the Q. This, along with the game experience makes the expense worth it.

Extras    4

One extra point for the caliber of the product on the court, and a small ­market city getting a second chance to watch one of the greats in his hometown (Akron is in the metro) lead a top team in the Eastern Conference.

The continued improvement of the arena and the game experience is worth an extra point. With a team like this, it would be easy to rest on their laurels and let the on­court play carry the load, but the organization continues to implement new features to improve the game experience.

I'm a fan of the postmodern style of the arena's architecture. There's the large bay window on the west side which serves as the front door to the city and the swooping roof that gives the venue an enjoyable, off ­kilter sense. The profile of the southern edge alongside Ontario doesn't feel imposing, it seems to work well in the space. Also, the exterior makes it feel like the more industrial (relatively­ speaking) cousin to Portland's ​Moda Center​, as both were designed by the firm Ellerbe Beckett (later absorbed into AECOM).

Final Thoughts

The combination of the Cavaliers' success on the court with progressive arena leadership makes for a stellar game experience. Quicken Loans Arena is more than two decades old, but has undergone major renovations over the years that have made the space feel incredibly modern. Cleveland, as a whole, is a city on the upswing and if you have the opportunity to visit, including a Cavs game would be well worth your time and money.

Some Clevelander help me out: What on God\'s green Earth happened on Tues.? Why did the home court a

Some Clevelander help me out: What on God's green Earth happened on Tues.? Why did the home court advantage not propel the boys to a win?

by jmccurdy | May 13, 2010 10:48 AM

The Q may be the arena I am most interested in seeing in 2010, if only because fans could be anywher

The Q may be the arena I am most interested in seeing in 2010, if only because fans could be anywhere from enraged to completely absent. Definitely on the early must visit list. Plus, I would love to do my part to visit the great downtown area that has emerged around the Q and Progressive Field. It would be a shame to see that revitalization get squashed.

by paul | Jul 21, 2010 07:23 AM

Area around - Progressive Field/The Q

Paul -

I loved the area around Progressive Field. The Q was right next door. I'm trying to find a website that captures all that (restaurants, bars, history). I found these two:

http://www.cleveland.com/gateway/ or maybe this one: http://cleveland.about.com/od/restaurantsandnightspots/p/efourth.htm

Neither of those websites really capture the 'feel' of the area (which is similiar to LoDo in Denver) around game time.

Maybe Daniel knows of better sites.

I just loved the area around Progressive Field before an Indians game. I suspect a Cavs game would be the same.

Meg

by megminard | Mar 08, 2011 04:20 PM

Airport to Downtown

As a Clevelander, I thought your review was pretty spot on. I thought it was worth mentioning the rail option for getting to and from the airport from downtown. For a couple dollars you can catch the Red Line on the RTA Rapid directly from the airport to Tower City, which is also connected to the Gateway to the Q and Progressive Field. You can access all the Rapid Lines in the basement of Tower City.

by apdh514 | Apr 22, 2013 08:51 AM

2014: Lebron, K-Love and Kyrie

I am a huge cavs fan and have been since I've been able to understand basketball. I am from Cleveland and have been going to Cavs games since I was 5, I probably went to at least 10 home games a year during Lebron's first stint, and maybe 5 or 6 after he left. Now, in 2014, the atmosphere is great as 20,562 pack the Q every game. There is a lot to do in downtown Cleveland, and I would reccomend going to Winking Lizard Tavern before the games if its not too crowded. But, the Cavs also have good food too. RTA is very accesible and Tower City also has a food court, it is connected by a walkway to the Q. Go Cavs!

by DrPhil5 | Dec 01, 2014 04:41 PM

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Crowd Reviews

Reviewing the Q

Total Score: 3.86

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

In the opening highlights on the JumboTron before the Cleveland Cavaliers announce their starting lineups, a video montage shows exaggerated versions of the players walking around the city, with buildings and landmarks being only a fraction of the players' enhanced sizes. Finally, when LeBron James crawls out of his legendary 110-foot billboard, you appreciate the imagery.

The Cavaliers really are larger than life in Cleveland.

An appropriate picture, since one of the themes revolving around the Cavs this year is "XL", as the Cavs celebrate their 40th anniversary in the league. And they're doing it big.

While they've only been to one NBA Finals in the last 40 years, basketball has taken over the predominantly football and baseball dominated city, thanks in part to two larger-than-life figures in LeBron James and Shaquille O'Neal. With the Browns and Indians floundering in mediocrity seemingly year after year, the fans have rallied around the Cavs in hopes of finally landing the city's first championship in 62 years.

The Aftermath at The Q

Total Score: 3.86

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

Quicken Loans Arena sits in downtown Cleveland right next door to Progressive Field, which is where the Cleveland Indians play baseball.

The Q, as it is referred to, opened in 1994 as part of a Cleveland revitalization project for its basketball and baseball teams called the Gateway Complex. This was a project that took older buildings and parking garages and built a new ballpark and an arena in their places.

Initially playing in Richfield, OH, the Cleveland Cavaliers played their games approximately 20 miles south of downtown Cleveland at the Coliseum at Richfield from 1974-1994.

The 2010-2011 NBA season has proved to be a painful journey due to the departure of the one who calls himself "The King." On February 16, 2011, the Cavs played the Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant in front of a packed house that nearly tore down the walls when the worst team in the NBA managed to beat up one of the league's best teams, 104-99. And that was done only five weeks after getting smacked around by the Lakers, losing by over 50 points.

Cleveland Rising

Total Score: 4.43

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

The Cleveland Cavaliers have seen a lot of changes since a certain player made a certain decision in July of 2010. Most notably, the product on the court got pretty bad - and fast.

Fortunately for Cavs fans, help was on the way. After trading Mo Williams and Jamario Moon for Baron Davis's albatross of a contract and the Clippers' first round pick, and owning the second-worst record in the league, the Cavs netted the first and fourth pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. Those two picks became Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson, and the rebuild was on.

Although there will be growing pains, and lots of them, the future is bright in Cleveland. And, it will play out at Quicken Loans Arena, home to the youth-filled Cavaliers. The Q is a top-flight arena, and shows owner Dan Gilbert's commitment to providing a slick and exciting product as the team on the court grows into a playoff contender once again.

The View from the Q

Total Score: 3.86

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

Located in downtown Cleveland, Quicken Loans Arena is home to the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers. Originally opened in 1994 as Gund Arena, it was renamed in 2005 when Quicken Loans Inc. founder Dan Gilbert became majority owner and overhauled the franchise. Popularly referred to as ‘The Q’ (thanks to Cavs color commentator Austin Carr), the arena is also home to the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League (AHL), the Cleveland Gladiators of the Arena Football League (AFL), the Mid-American Conference (MAC) Basketball Tournaments, and the Cleveland Crush of the Lingerie Football League (LFL).

Cavs at Quicken Loans Arena

Total Score: 3.57

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

This is one of those arenas that falls right in the middle of what the NBA has to offer. Its not one of my favorite arenas but definitely not one I hate. Plenty of good options for things to do in the neighborhood as it is within walking distance of Progressive Field. Nothing extremely special but cheap prices and a grand view.

An Updated Review of Quicken Loans Arena

Total Score: 4.57

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

In the summer of 2014 LeBron James announced his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Cavs acquired Kevin Love in a trade. The arena also just got $23 million worth of renovations. Including a new sound system costing $1.8 million as well as a scoreboard that cost $9,357,611 itself. The arena has over 30 options for food and drink including a Quaker Steak and Lube, restaurants and stands from famous chef Michael Symon, and concessions as simple as a bottomless popcorn for only $7.50. The Q has one of the best atmospheres in the league with every game being sold and having some of the most passionate fans. The Cavs new scoreboard is the largest in the NBA. The scoreboard has the famous fiery swords for the teams introduction. The in game presentation is second to none from the host, to dance troops, activities during timeouts, and even mascots. The Q is right in the heart of downtown Cleveland with bar and dinning options ranging from upscale restaurants or just regular bars within walking distance. The fans are very knowledgeable and some of the loudest in the NBA with the whole upper bowl being called "Loudville". There are hotels and parking lots within walking distance to the arena as well. The Tower City Center which includes shopping, hotels, office buidings, a movie theater, subway station, and even a casino are connected right to the arena. You may have trouble finding tickets though considering every game for the 2014-15 have been sold out since July. The box office doesnt sell tickets so check StubHub or the Cavs very own online electronic ticket system called Flash Seats. The Q has a good value for top quality basketball and an elite ownership group that builds a fun atmosphere for hoops fans in Cleveland. The Cavs have 7 number retired, a banner honoring legendary play by play announcer Joe Tait, 3 division championships, and Eastern Conference Championship banner. The Cavs also have a brand new 2 floor team shop.

Cav a Good Time

Total Score: 4.43

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

The history of Quicken Loans Arena might be best broken up into four sections: Pre-LeBron, The LeBron Years, The Sad Years, and the Return of LeBron. There is no doubt that the prodigal son’s return prior to the 2014-2015 season has injected more life into “The Q,” but there is a lot more to the fan experience in Cleveland than just the play on the floor, with one of the greatest basketball players of all-time.

The arena opened in 1994, and was known as Gund Arena at the time, named for Gordon Gund, the owner of the Cavs at the time. For the first few years, the Cavaliers were a playoff team under coach Mike Fratello, but failed to advance beyond the first round of the playoffs. From 1998 through the 2002-2003 season, the Cavs never finished better than 11th in the East. The Cavs were 23rd in the NBA in average attendance in 2002, and dead last in 2003.

Then, the 2003 Lottery happened, and the Cavaliers selected Akron native LeBron James with the Number 1 overall pick. The Cavaliers jumped to 9th in the NBA in attendance, and Cavaliers games were the place to be, and things just got better and better. The culmination was a trip to the NBA Finals in 2007 (and the team was 3rd in the NBA in attendance).

We all know about the decision of James to take his talents to South Beach, and his four seasons as a member of the Miami Heat. Fans burned jerseys and the team failed to make the playoffs every year during the King’s absence. Quicken Loans Arena remained a good place to see a game, ranking near the middle of our annual NBA arena rankings list, but the magic was missing with the team in the doldrums.

With the Cavaliers back in the playoffs and LeBron James reclaiming his throne as the King of Cleveland, the fans have been quick to forgive and have come back to Quicken Loans Arena, averaging over 20,500 fans during the 2014-2015 season, good for second best in the NBA.

The play on the court, combined with a great food and beverage program, first class technological amenities, and a great downtown location combine to make Quicken Loans Arena one of the best experiences in the NBA, and one that should be on every basketball fan’s bucket list.

Not just a "Basketball Arena"

Total Score: 3.86

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

Although I've had the most fun at "The Q" when I go watch the Cavaliers play, I actually just attended my first Cavalier Playoff game last night (4/21/15 vs Boston), but any event hosted at Quicken Loans Arena is a very good time... Especially if you're a WWE fan. I've been to 5 or 6 pro wrestling events there since 1997 and they get better every time. Thinking about checking out the AFL Gladiators this season.

Impressive

Total Score: 4.57

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

Free program, free giveaway (rare these days for NBA), and excellent pregame ceremony. The on court intros are a must see.

The team should make another Finals appearance so tickets will be expensive this year.

Share your thoughts about Quicken Loans Arena

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/

Panini's Bar & Grill  (map it!)

840 E Huron Rd

Cleveland, OH 44115

(216) 522-1510

http://www.paninisgrill.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/

House of Blues Cleveland  (map it!)

308 Euclid Ave

Cleveland, OH 44115

(216) 523-2583

http://www.houseofblues.com/venues/clubvenues/cleveland/

Lola Bistro  (map it!)

2058 E 4th St

Cleveland, OH 44115

(216) 621-5652

http://lolabistro.com/

Gillespie's Map Room  (map it!)

1281 W 9th St

Cleveland, OH 44113

(216) 621-7747

http://maproomcleveland.com/

Great Lakes Brewing Company  (map it!)

2516 Market Ave

Cleveland, OH 44113

(216) 771-2085

http://www.greatlakesbrewing.com/home

The Butcher & the Brewer  (map it!)

2043 E 4th St

Cleveland, OH 44115

(216) 331-0805

http://www.butcherandthebrewer.com/

Noodlecat  (map it!)

234 Euclid Ave

Cleveland, OH 44114

(216) 589-0007

http://www.noodlecat.com/

Zocalo Mexican Grill & Tequileria  (map it!)

2071 E 4th St

Cleveland, OH 44115

(216) 781-0420

http://www.zocalocleveland.com/

Winking Lizard  (map it!)

811 Huron Road E

Cleveland, OH 44115

(216) 589-0313

http://www.winkinglizard.com/locations/gateway

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/

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 Rd

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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