CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Wednesday afternoon crews began taking down the trees on the sidewalks bordering Ontario Street and Huron Road outside of Quicken Loans Arena.
It was a sign of major things to come for the 23-year old arena which is about to undergo an 18-month long face-lift.
In a few weeks the $140 million renovation of the arena will swing into full gear with a target completion date of September 2019. The initial phase of construction will focus on the extension of the Huron Road and Ontario Street footprints and facade of the arena giving the building more concourse space and a modernized look.
The work is officially set to begin on Feb. 5 when construction barriers go up and shortly thereafter cranes, equipment, steel and other building materials will follow.
Although the Cavs and Cleveland Monsters seasons will remain uninterrupted, The Q will essentially “shut down” during the 2018 and 2019 offseasons for construction which means those summer concerts and shows will be on a 2-year hiatus while the building is remodeled.
The team says the goal is to provide “a seamless experience” for fans during construction. While they expect some fans to be unhappy with any inconveniences that will come during construction, they are hoping for patience and understanding.
“We appreciate the patience and cooperation of our fans to accommodate the needed construction elements of the project that will ultimately sustain the long-term future of The Q as an important community asset,” Cavs and Quicken Loans Arena CEO Len Komoroski said. “Our entire organization will work closely with the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, the Cleveland Police Department and others to make visits to The Q as smooth as possible. We appreciate everyone’s understanding as we build a better Q for tomorrow.”
Fans can expect new signage to go up outside the building to help direct foot traffic and aid in as smooth of an entry into the building during construction as possible.
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The most notable impact for fans will be with the traffic outside of the arena and the entrances on the north side of the building.
Huron road outside of The Q will see three lanes blocked off for construction limiting traffic flow starting Feb. 5.
Prior to events, Huron at Ontario will become a two-lane, east-bound road, and after events it will transform into a two-lane, west-bound road to help alleviate traffic congestion that would be caused by trying to maintain a two-way single-lane traffic road.
Parking in the Gateway East garage for the remainder of this season “is at capacity” and will only be available to those with pre-assigned parking or pre-paid parking only the team said.
The Cavs plan to encourage fans to take RTA, which has a walkway from Tower City that leads directly to the arena, car pool or take a ride-sharing service such as Uber.