Quicken Loans Arena – Cleveland Cavaliers
The Incredible Q
Quicken Loans Arena, or The Q as locals refer to it, was built as a part of the Gateway Sports and Entertainment Complex. The Gateway Sports and Entertainment Complex also includes Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians. The Gateway Sports and Entertainment Complex was brought into being by local business owners and local government officials in 1992 with hopes to revitalize Cleveland’s downtown.
The Q was originally named Gund Arena after then-owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Gordon Gund. Gund Arena opened on October 17, 1994 with a concert performed by Rock Legend Billy Joel. Gund Arena preceded Richfield Coliseum as the premier destination for arena entertainment in the Northeast Ohio area. Gund Arena had its name changed in 2005 when Dan Gilbert, owner of Quicken Loans, became the majority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers and purchased the arena naming rights.
Recognizing the potential in his star player, LeBron James, Dan Gilbert had the foresight to put major money into The Q. Gilbert replaced the arena seating, installed the latest and greatest signs, scoreboards, security systems and one of the best audio and visual setups in the NBA. King James’s fame brought worldwide attention and fans to The Q, and Cleveland was ready to receive the King’s subjects.
After the renovations, Quicken Loans Arena seats 20,562 for basketball, 10,025-20,056 for hockey, and 20,056 for football. The capacity is dependent upon the seating configuration for the sport/entertainment event being hosted.
In recent history, Quicken Loans Arena has a few distinctions. In March 2017, Quicken Loans Arena became the first NBA arena to become certified as sensory inclusive. Sensory inclusive meaning individuals with autism, dementia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other similar conditions can go to events at The Q and have a safe space, or be assisted by trained staff if needed. Quicken Loans Arena was also the host of the Republican National Convention.
The future looks promising for Quicken Loans Arena as it is currently in stages of a major renovation to the entire space in hopes of hosting the NBA All-Star Game in 2022. The venue has a bright future ahead of it and should continue to be the Incredible Q for years to come.
Food & Beverage 5
Quicken Loans Arena has one of the best varieties of concessions in all of sports. There are so many options, from your usual arena/stadium food (burgers, peanuts, popcorn, pizza) to vegan, to kosher, to meals prepared by an ever-changing group of local chefs.
There are close to thirty different places to eat in The Q. The arena’s website gives a full listing of the options. Two places to eat that stand out are Healthy for Life, and Launch Test Kitchen. Healthy for Life has gluten-free, low-calorie, low-sugar, kosher, vegetarian, and other healthier alternatives while Launch Test Kitchen has different Cleveland chefs throughout the season preparing menus that guests have given their feedback on. Launch Test Kitchen’s menu can be absolutely anything.
If you want it, then there is a good chance you can find it at The Q. The arena serves Pepsi products in bottle and fountain style. Budweiser is the major beer served throughout the venue, but there are also many craft beers to choose from. The Q has hard drinks available, and multiple full service bars.
I recommend trying Rocco’s at The Q. The cheesesteak is large and tastes great, and is well worth the $13 price tag.
Laser lights, giveaways, shirt/ball tosses, killer visual and audio, and did I mention there’s a hot dog cannon? The Q has entertainment at every time out. The Cavaliers organization is second to none when it comes to keeping the crowd involved and invested in the team. There is no doubt that this has become a bucket list destination.
Quicken Loans Arena has padded comfortable seating with cup holders. The layout of the lower level seating and private box seating is genius. The premium lower level seating only goes up to row 14 unlike many arenas that go 30 rows or more. Premium lower level seating at Quicken Loans Arena really feels premium and it is close to the court. In most arenas, the private boxes share a view only slightly better than the first row of the most upper level seating because the boxes are located just under the most upper level seating.
The Cavs organization has it all. Two mascots, cheerleaders, a hip hop dance team, t-shirt/hot dog/ball tosses, raffles, and a sound system that you not only hear, but feel the bass in your chest. The Cavs organization spares no expense with the giveaways. If you sit between rows 5-10 in the premium sections 107–110, and premium sections 125-126 you have the best chances of getting the best views of the court and getting the t-shirts/balls/hot dogs during the breaks.
Quicken Loans Arena is located in the heart of Cleveland’s downtown area. The arena is located close to everything you might need or want during your stay. There are plenty of places to eat and stay no matter your budget. There are loads of sights to see within walking distance of the arena, and there are plenty of things to see if you don’t mind driving a few miles.
Downtown Cleveland has loads of bars with bar food (burgers, wings, cheap steaks, fries, etc.). You can get a good meal without breaking the bank at Winking Lizard Tavern. When staying in Cleveland stop by Colossal Cupcakes and try one of their unique cupcakes. Both places are located less than a quarter of a mile from the arena.
For other entertainment options, be sure to check out the Cleveland Zoo. The zoo is world class and you can spend an entire day walking and learning about animals. You’ll need to drive or grab an Uber because the zoo is five miles away.
Another recommended destination is the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which is located just one mile from the arena. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame may be a little on the expensive side, but it is certainly very interesting, especially for serious music enthusiasts.
Our recommended hotel is the Radisson Hotel Cleveland-Gateway. The hotel is fairly average, but has a restaurant on site and is a median priced hotel whose true beauty lies in its location. The Radisson Hotel Cleveland-Gateway is across the street from the Quicken Loans Arena. Our second recommendation is the Holiday Inn Express Cleveland Downtown which is located around the corner from Quicken Loans Arena.
For decades Northeast Ohio has endured losing teams, but still always hoped for the best and supported their teams. It’s still the same today, only they have something to brag about.
Cleveland’s three major sports teams; the Cavs, Browns, and Indians couldn’t win a championship from 1964 up until 2016 when the Cavs, led by LeBron James, won the NBA championship. Cleveland has enjoyed a worldwide following due to NBA superstar LeBron James, but even during the recent dark times when LeBron took his talents to Miami the fans were loyal and supported their team, win or lose.
With LeBron James is playing the arena sells out. According to ESPN.com, the Cavs have had the second highest attendance in the NBA since LeBron James returned to the team in the 2014/2015 season.
It gets loud up in the Q. The team is playing hard, the music is blaring, LeBron James dunks the ball and you will find yourself high fiving and hugging strangers. Almost every time out there is a giveaway. When the team wins, the song “Cleveland Rocks” covered by the Presidents of the United States of America is played at an ear-splitting level. The Cavs organization knows how to put on a show and keeps the fans feeling like part of the team.
The arena is very accessible. There are multiple entrances with plenty of arena staff to help you on your way. Parking is difficult, although the organization does its best with the downtown location.
The Quicken Loans Arena website recommends using multiple methods of public transportation to get to and from a game. The website is also updated regularly and specific recommendations on where to park for game attendance.
Entering the arena without a bag will speed things up at security. Paper and E-Tickets are accepted at all entrances
The main concourse is wide and easily supports the thousands of people at the snack stands, and bathrooms. All section entrances are clearly marked and have staff at the entrances to help fans. There are multiple elevators and escalators for fans who have upper level seating. Fans needing assistance should have no problems getting where they need to be.
Return on Investment 5
When LeBron James is playing, amazing things happen. As an NBA fan you won’t find yourself regretting paying your hard earned money for a Cleveland Cavaliers experience on a night they win.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are one of the NBA’s premier teams. When some of the better teams come to town tickets can only be found at high prices on aftermarket ticket sales sites. Ticket prices for a Cavaliers game vary and each game ticket prices must be reviewed. Ticket prices can range from tens of dollars to thousands of dollars depending on the game match up and your preference and budget for seating.
The price of a free refill souvenir soda cup will run you $8.50 while a domestic draft beer costs about $11.
Parking right around the arena can cost anywhere from $25-$50, while parking much further away you can park for as low at $7.
Sitting in premium areas can cost a lot of money, but many nights under the right circumstances two people can sit in the most upper level seating, grab a few drinks and a hot dog and park for around $80-$100 total.
I have a few recommendations concerning cost savings and NBA teams, including the Cleveland Cavaliers. Most non marquee featured games (e.g. Cavs vs Hornets on a Wednesday or Cavs vs Kings on a Monday) can be purchased from second hand vendors like TicketMonster at prices well below the team price because many season ticket holders are trying to get any amount of money they can for games they and most people don’t want to go to.
For a little more detail concerning ticket cost I recommend reviewing a past article of mine, How to Get the Best Seats for Your Budget.
One extra point for the organization’s overall excellence in entertaining the fans at almost every stoppage of play during a game.
Quicken Loans Arena is also home to the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters and will be home to arena football again beginning in 2020 with the return of the Cleveland Gladiators.
If you time things correctly, you could also plan a weekend doubleheader with the Indians at Progressive Field in April, May, or June (depending on how deep the Cavs go into the playoffs) or with the NFL’s Cleveland Browns at nearby FirstEnergy Stadium in the Fall.
Quicken Loans Arena is state-of-the-art, well maintained and the Cleveland Cavaliers organization puts on a fantastic show for its patrons.
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Food and Drink Recommendations
Radisson Hotel Cleveland-Gateway
651 Huron Rd E
Cleveland, OH 44115
Holiday Inn Express Cleveland Downtown
Latest Crowd Reviews
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. -Review by Brandon Gee, Regional Correspondent
I can&#039t say enough how much my wife and I enjoy going to CAVS games at the Quicken Loans Arena. I&#039ve been to two other NBA arenas (Verizon Center - Wizards &amp Spectrum Center - Hornets) and the excitement from the crowd and the show that is put on is just not like what goes on in the Quicken Loans Arena. My first CAVS game was CAVS vs Trail Blazers 1/28/2015. Since then I&#039ve flown back multiple times and sat first row seats in the crown level, on the floor behind the CAVS bench, and multiple seats in the premium area either behind the Cavs or the visiting teams benches. We love the atmosphere at The Q. The Q staff is friendly and helpful, the arena is clean and has a rockin audio / video presentation. The fans really get into the game. The show that the CAVS organization puts on besides the basketball game is outstanding. Giveaways of t-shirts and hotdogs, shows put on by acrobats and dancers, the latest music blasting so hard you can feel it in your chest. If you can afford the super high prices I recommend sitting 5 or 10 rows back from the court in one of the 8 premium seatings sections 124-127 &amp 107-110. After taxes 2 250 tickets will cost about 630 together. 250 a ticket/seat most nights will get you in super good seats unless its a season opener, a rival game or a playoff game. Bring your money and be ready to have a great time.