It used to be called The Gund, but a few years ago it changed to Quicken Loans arena, and with that change came a huge boost to the Cleveland economy.
Sure a lot had to do with the fact one of Cleveland's most hated men now, LeBron James, played for the Cavaliers, but an even bigger reason was the man who bought the team in 2005, Dan Gilbert.
Gilbert is a man with a vision, and even though James has parted, his idea's and the willingness to give fans a product they want to see is a huge reason for the downtown resurgence, especially around the arena area.
While the life cycle of James was limited, Gilberts plan for the future,has kept not only the teams dream of a future championship alive, but also impacted the area as restaurants continue to pop up on Eat 4th street, and thrive.
“I promise you that out energy, focus, capital, knowledge and experience will be directed at one thing and one thing only, “ Gilbert said following James departure. “Delivering you the championship you have long deserved.”
True, times have been tough since then and wins hard to find for the Cavaliers. But the plan is in place, and with a new star in Kyrie Irving, the first overall pick last year, the foundation is set. With training facilities that are second to none in the league, and $20 million in cap space heading into next year, the next phase of that process could occur sooner than later.
There will be no playoffs this year, but Sunday April 15's game might be a prime example of what the future bodes for the Cavs. Playing without Irving and a number of its other to players didn't beat the Orlando Magic, but showed a lot of fortitude.
The game itself may have been a loss, but there was no quit in the players, and the entertainment that the Cavs offered during breaks and halftime kept the crowds alive.
From Sir CC, to Moondog, to the Scream Team and the Cav-a-littles, those who attend a Cavaliers game won't be bored. There is also the opportunity to take in a good meal by one of Cleveland's and Food Network's top chefs Michael Symon at the B Spot and Bar Symon.
There is more to the Cavaliers than just the basketball court. The Cavaliers outreach in the community is also strong. One of their top programs helps young people develop a life-long love for reading. Called read to achieve, the program reaches thousands of elementary, middle and high school students in Northeast Ohio through reading time-outs, book drives and donations and the construction of Reading & Learning Centers, which is another huge contribution to the area.
The team also partners with businesses in the community, such as Majestic Steel to provide college scholarships for students, and they way they do so, show the commitment to not only the community but also teamwork.
“Every year what stands out to us the most is how genuine the Majestic team is in wanting this opportunity to really have an impact and be meaningful for these young people, “ said Cavaliers CHEIF Operating Officer Keny Bubolz. “They work closely with us and take ownership of the program.”
Another aspect the Cavaliers have done in the community is set up various youth camps during the year. This summer, for a several week-long period, there where be numerous basketball camps across Northeastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania for youths to learn from the best.
What makes them unique, is the way the Cavs teach campers the game.
Between the first day of camp and the last day, they want every camper to improve their basketball skill level, they want their campers to walk away knowing what it will take for them to get better, but most important they want all of their campers to have fun and learn to truly enjoy the game of basketball.
Cleveland has been without a championship since 1964, but the plan of Dan Gilbert to do just that not only has substance to it, but also is bringing hope to the downtown area.