There are no tickets available at this time.
Official Review by Dave Cottenie, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
One of the hallmarks of Arena Football franchises is movement. There are very few franchises who have had significant staying power. In Cleveland, ownership and fans hope that the wandering nature of the Gladiators has ended.
The birth of the Gladiator franchise came in 1997 when the expansion New Jersey Red Dogs were born. In 2001 they were sold and became the New Jersey Gladiators. They were later sold again and moved to Las Vegas. In 2008, led by former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar, they were again purchased, and the Gladiators were moved to Cleveland. Quicken Loans Arena would be home to the Arena franchise, and they would be sold again in 2011, this time to Cleveland sports magnate, and owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Lake Erie Monsters, Dan Gilbert.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
There are a ton of food options at The Q. Your regular fare is here, at a quality that is higher than I expected, and there are also a number of specialty stands. Quaker Steak and Lube has a strong presence at the arena. You can also find a Nacho Loco, and a Cold Stone Creamery amongst other stands. There were a few that were not open due to the smaller attendance, however you will most definitely find something that interests you from the concessions.
Quicken Loans Arena is a nice building, but it is obvious that the Gladiators are third class citizens there. There is very little in the way of presence at the Q for the Gladiators. There is plenty of presence for the Cavaliers and a surprising amount of presence for the Lake Erie Monsters. Hopefully with Dan Gilbert's recent purchase of the Glads, a new synergy between the three franchises will allow more exposure for the football team.
The product that has been put together is a pretty good promotion. There is a ton of loud music, lots of in-game action, some giveaways, cheerleaders, and a mascot. A free program at the door and friendly faces around the arena help to make the experience an enjoyable one.
Downtown Cleveland is vastly underrated. At the very least, a trip to Cleveland should include a visit to the undeniably fantastic, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There is also the Science Center just up the road. Quicken Loans Arena is right next door to Progressive Field so an Indians game might also be in the cards. The Horseshoe Casino and Theatre District are also up the road. As you can see there is plenty to do just downtown.
Also downtown there are a plethora of eating and drinking establishments. The patios are popular in the spring and summer months. Some excellent choices include the Clevelander, The Thirsty Parrot, Harry Buffalo, and The Winking Lizard, which is my personal favorite.
The Gladiators average just over 6,100 fans per game. This puts them in 12th place in the AFL, which is the bottom third. A stronger attendance is definitely necessary for more staying power in Cleveland. The fans that were there were knowledgeable, and excited and were treated to a Gladiators victory during my recent visit. The upper levels are draped off to give the arena a smaller feel, however there were still plenty of empty seats around the building.
Getting downtown was not a problem. The Q is located at the corner of Ontario and Huron, not far from I-90. There are numerous parking lots and garages downtown, and parking was not difficult to find, surprising since there was an Indians game going on while we were looking for parking. At $15, parking is what was expected for any big city.
Inside, there is ample room in the concourses and the washroom facilities are great.
Going to an Arena Football game is great value. Tickets start under $20, and are more than affordable. The family experience is one that is encouraged. If you are bringing the family to see the Gladiators, I would suggest the family 4 pack. This includes 4 tickets, sodas, hot dogs, and t-shirts all for under $60. Great value to be sure.
An extra mark for The Country Music Bash and live band, the Joe Zelek Band.
An extra mark for the uncountable souvenir footballs that ended up in the crowd. Every Cleveland touchdown involved a player tossing the game ball into the stands. That is in addition to the balls that ended up there during the normal game play.
An extra point for the opportunity for a neat doubleheader with the Cleveland Indians, who played next door at Progressive Field beginning the same day as my visit.
Arena Football is one of the most fan friendly events that you will find. The Gladiators are no exception. Hopefully, the new ownership situation will provide some synergy between the Gladiators and the other Cleveland sports properties, and keep the Gladiators from roaming any further.
There are no crowd reviews yet. Be the first and help us build with your expertise!
834 Huron Rd East
Cleveland, OH 44115
812 Huron Rd East
Cleveland, OH 44115
2120 E 4th St
Cleveland, OH 44115
1100 Rock and Roll Blvd
Cleveland, OH 44114
100 Public Sq
Cleveland, OH 44113
There are no local lodging entries. Help us build with your expertise!