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Quicken Loans Arena

Cleveland, OH

Home of the Cleveland Cavaliers

4.4

4.0

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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Cav a Good Time

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.

4.4

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 thing that Quicken Loans Arena has absolutely nailed is their food and beverage selection, specifically their focus on local selections and chefs. There are far too many options to go into depth, but suffice to say that you can come hungry to the arena and leave perfectly satisfied. A full list of options can be found here.

Chef Michael Symon has a tremendous presence in the city and at Quicken Loans Arena. His B Spot located near the main entrance is especially popular with burgers, brats, craft beers, and milkshakes on offer. There are some tables outside the stand where you can eat before heading to your seat. Make this your first stop if you're hungry. There is also Bar Symon, located just over the ramp from the adjoining parking lot. This is less busy and a bit of a hidden gem inside the arena. Come here when you arrive and grab a table and have a beer or two before the game.

Other options with a local focus include SeeSaw Pretzel Shoppe (Chef Jonathan Sawyer of Greenhouse Tavern with pretzels, sausages, and pepperoni rolls), Elmore Smith's Smokehouse (former Cav with on-site BBQ chicken or pork nachos), and Roccos at the Q (Rocco Whalen serves up crab cakes, great tacos, and the fan favorite Cleveland Nachos).

Brew Kettle serves up a specially made India Pale Ale that is only available at The Q, known as the All For One IPA. Additional cocktails can be found at Cleveland on the Rocks stands, or beers at the Cheers & Beers stand. Wine lovers may like the cask tapped wines on offer as well.

There are of course all of your usual offerings as well at the Fanfare stands. Pricing is reasonable throughout the arena.

Fans who have dietary restrictions, like gluten free options or other healthier choices, then there is a stand located near section 116, where you'll find vegan, vegetarian, and healthy food and beverage choices.

Quicken Loans Arena is also one of the first NBA arenas to install Apple Pay at every point of sale throughout the arena, an example of their commitment to staying cutting edge on the technological front of the fan experience.

Many lower level seats and club seats or suites include either wait service or the ability to order food from your seat and have it delivered to you. Make sure your smart phone is fully charged when you arrive at Quicken Loans Arena, as you will have plenty of opportunities to use it.

Atmosphere    5

There is plenty to like about the game day presentation in Cleveland. A winning team and one of the greatest players of all time undoubtedly contribute to the overall atmosphere, but look around and you'll find many amenities that enhance the game experience.

Quicken Loans Arena is a multi-purpose venue as it is home to both the AHL Lake Erie Monsters and the Arena Football League's Cleveland Gladiators. In all, there are more than 200 events held annually at The Q, but there is no doubt who the primary tenant is. This is a great place to see basketball.

All seats have cupholders, and average legroom. It's a big arena with a capacity of 20,562, but in no way feels cavernous. Even from the very back row, you have a decent view of the action, but I would recommend a seat in the front row of section 209, so you're above the action with a view of the team benches.

Quicken Loans Arena is on the forefront of the giant scoreboard trend. Their center-hung, four-sided eye candy is known as Humungotron, and it was installed prior to the 2014-2015 season. It can be a little distracting, especially from the upper sections, and you may see fans, especially younger fans, watching the game on the big screen rather than the court. The intro video shown, and the flames that are fired from the scoreboard is a sight to see, and well worth being in your seats before tipoff. There are additional scoreboards in each upper corner which display full players stats, and really adds to the experience.

You'll see a wide variety of entertainment during breaks. It's a usual mix of basketball contests, and local musical and performance groups. There is a Cavs drum corps, dance team, cheerleaders, and a mascot - all of whom make appearances on the floor.

Neighborhood    5

The neighborhood just keeps getting better and better around Quicken Loans Arena. There are plenty of interesting bars, restaurants, and other intriguing spots to explore.

The best stretch of restaurants can be found along East 4th Street. My favorite is Greenhouse Tavern, a restaurant that focuses on using local ingredients to create great food. There's a great mix of foodie delights and the restaurant was named as one of the Ten Best New Restaurants in America by Bon Appetit. Other great options on this stretch include Michael Symon's Lola, the Butcher and the Brewer, Noodlecat, and Zocalo. It's worth your while to browse the list of restaurants and entertainment in this area before you go to the game so you can find what's perfect for you.

History buffs may want to walk a little further and find the Soldiers and Sailors monument, which is dedicated to Civil War veterans. Names of more than 9,000 Civil War veterans from Ohio appear in the wall inside the monument. Other popular attractions while in Cleveland include the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and the Cleveland Museum of Art.

If you'll be in town for a night or more, then there are hotels within walking distance including a Radisson, Hilton Garden Inn, and Holiday Inn Express.

Fans    5

You can expect a full house in Loudville when you attend a Cavaliers game. The return of LeBron James for the 2014-2015 season. The Cavaliers averaged a full house, so you would be wise to get your tickets in advance.

Fans are engaged in the game, and are especially appreciative of the exploits of James. During a recent visit, there was noticeable applause when LeBron snagged his 10th rebound of the contest, giving him a triple-double. Nothing was prompted by the scoreboard, just intelligent fans who are tuned in to the game.

Access    3

Perhaps the biggest negative of attending a Cavaliers game is the cost of parking. You'll find many convenient lots around the arena, but prices will cost you $30 or $40. The Gateway East Garage and Collection Auto Group Centre are both connected to Quicken Loans Arena by a covered walkway, making life incredibly convenient.

If you're willing to walk, then you can find parking in cheaper lots, or even in metered spots on the streets. Be very aware of parking signs. Police are out enforcing no parking zones on game days. If you arrive early for a game, shoot for 4pm as you can feed the meter for two hours ($1.50), and then be free for the rest of the night. I would recommend shooting for 2217 E 9th Street, near Brickstone Tavern, where there were several spots available three hours before tipoff, and easy exit after the game.

RTA bus service is available for those who may be coming in from the area and want to avoid driving. The Tower City Station is the nearest stop to Quicken Loans Arena.

Entering the arena moves fairly quickly as all fans enter through metal detectors for security purposes.

Inside the arena, movement is easy, with concourses that are wide enough to move about and restrooms that are just big enough to handle the capacity crowds.

Return on Investment    4

Due to demand, few tickets will be available on the day of game, so plan in advance. Ticket brokers like Ticket Monster have prices that range from $25 for the cheapest seats to $53 for our recommended seats in the first row of section 209. If a family of four ponies up for the most expensive parking and the $53 seats, then you're looking at just under $300 once you factor in food and drink. This is no doubt an expensive trip, but the Cavs put on a good show, and it can be seen as worth the cost. You can save money by parking further away or by going for a cheaper seat. Overall though, you won't feel cheated by your experience at Quicken Loans Arena.

Cleveland Cavaliers Quicken Loans Arena Cost Index

Extras    4

One extra point for the return of LeBron James, which has reignited the passion of the fan base, and helped to make this a bucket list experience for basketball fans.

One extra point for the subtle history on display inside Quicken Loans Arena. As you walk through the concourse or into the entrance to any aisle, then you'll find familiar Cavs players from the past several decades.

One extra point to the Cavaliers continued commitment to improving the game day experience throughout the year. They are one of the first NBA arenas to install Apple Pay at their concessions, and other technological improvements are made throughout the year.

One final extra point for an usual feature on the scoreboard. In the lower center area you will find "The Diff," which tells fans the differential in the score of the game. I suppose this is useful for anyone who may be math challenged.

Final Thoughts

Cleveland is quickly becoming one of the great downtown sports destinations in the United States with Quicken Loans Arena and next door neighbor Progressive Field combining to host more than 250 sporting events each year. Now is a perfect time to visit Cleveland, and a Cavs game at Quicken Loans Arena should be added to your sports bucket list.

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.

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.

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

Holiday Inn Express Cleveland Downtown  (map it!)

629 Euclid Ave

Cleveland, OH 44114

(216) 443-1000

http://www.hiexpress.com/hotels/us/en/cleveland/cleoh/hoteldetail?cm_mmc=mdpr-_-googlemaps-_-ex-_-cleoh

Radisson Hotel Cleveland-Gateway  (map it!)

651 Huron Rd

Cleveland, OH 44115

(216) 377-9000

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

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