Itinerant Fan

Quicken Loans Arena

Downtown is the epicenter for sports in Cleveland — in particular the southwest corner of the downtown district. There you’ll find the Indians’ Progressive Field, and right next to it Quicken Loans Arena, where the Cavaliers have been plying their trade for more than 20 seasons.

Considering the franchise last played in the suburban Coliseum at Richfield, the current building, known as Gund Arena when it opened in 1994, was a boon for Cleveland’s NBA franchise. More recently, it has served as the home court for the league’s most talked-about player, one LeBron James, whose controversial departure in 2010 deflated the fan base just as much as his celebrated return four years later energized it.

Now that LeBron and the Cavs have captured long-suffering Cleveland’s first major sports title in more than 50 years, “The Q” will continue to be one of the more happening spots in the NBA these days, and well worth checking out on any hoops-heavy itinerary.

  •   The Approach

    The arena is pretty close to where all the action is downtown — it straddles one major thoroughfare (Ontario Street) and sits close to Interstate 90 as well. So it’s easy to reach whether you’re driving in from the suburbs or staying in a downtown hotel (and if you’re a visitor to Cleveland, it’s highly likely you’re doing the latter. The Q is a pretty easy walk from most major downtown hotels).

    There is a viable public transit option: Cleveland’s RTA light rail service has a stop at Tower City-Public Square, a two-block walk away. Three of the system’s five lines pass through the station.

    For drivers, there are two parking garages located next to the arena, with pedestrian bridges that connect to the venue — the Gateway East Garage (which also serves Progressive Field) and the Horseshoe Casino Garage, just north of the arena. There’s also plenty of surface parking nearby, across Ontario Street and in private lots scattered throughout the downtown area. If you’re on a budget it’s worth shopping around but expect the cost to be at least $20 and up for options within a couple blocks of the arena.

    One way to take care of parking near “The Q” is to reserve a spot ahead of time. You can do this through a service called Parking Panda. Simply hop on their website, view all of the parking options in the area and pick one that works for you. They’ll email the parking pass and you can drive to the arena knowing exactly where you’re going to park, how much you’ll pay, and that a spot will be awaiting your arrival. Take a look at their offerings in the window below:

     
  •   The Build-Up

    Booking.com

    Much of Cleveland’s downtown restaurant and nightlife scene sits a few blocks from the arena, particularly along Prospect Avenue, just a block away. East Fourth Street, an alleyway full of restaurants and bars that is often used for sports-themed backdrops whenever a Cleveland team is involved in a big event, is a great place to start when looking for pregame eats and drinks — and the arena is a straight shot away.

    The blocks just west of Ontario Street offer plenty of bars and restaurants as well. Whichever way you choose, you’ll find some familiar establishments (Hard Rock Cafe, Tilted Kilt) as well as some Cleveland-only spots, but all of them are more than happy to welcome sports fans before and after games.

    Another option, if you’re into this sort of thing: The Jack Cleveland Casino (formerly the Horseshoe Casino), which conveniently enough connects to the Horseshoe Casino Garage via pedestrian bridge.

  •   The Ambiance

    With its basketball capacity north of 20,000, Quicken Loans Arena is a big facility. There’s a lot of space to roam around inside as well, and the seating bowl feels fairly big and cavernous as well, though it’s mitigated by the giant scoreboard, lovingly known as “Humongotron,” that hangs over the court, extending from free-throw line to free-throw line. Denizens of the upper deck at Cavs games are collectively known as “Loudville,” much like “Loud City” at Oklahoma City’s Chesapeake Energy Arena.

    Where the Q really shines is when you get up out of your seat and look for food. The options are many, and they include some familiar names — Quaker Steak & Lube for wings (they operate a full-service restaurant as well as a stand on the main concourse), Elmore Smith’s Smokehouse for BBQ (Elmore Smith being a former Cavs player turned BBQ sauce purveyor) and The B Spot (a burger joint operated by celebrity chef and Cleveland native Michael Symon). You can also find sandwiches, fries, pretzels and more. An updated list of concessions options is kept here.

    It’s also worth walking around the concourse if you have the time to check out a pretty big team store, a regulation-sized practice court that harkens back to the early days of the franchise, and TV screens at practically every turn.

The Particulars

Home Teams
Cleveland Cavaliers

Address
1 Center Court
Cleveland, OH 44115

Year Opened
1994

Capacity
20,562

Upcoming Events
All times local
Los Angeles Lakers at Cleveland Cavaliers
Thursday, December 14, 2017
8:00 pm
Get tickets at SeatGeek »

Utah Jazz at Cleveland Cavaliers
Saturday, December 16, 2017
7:30 pm
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Iowa Wild at Cleveland Monsters
Monday, December 18, 2017
7:00 pm
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Iowa Wild at Cleveland Monsters
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
7:00 pm
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Chicago Bulls at Cleveland Cavaliers
Thursday, December 21, 2017
7:00 pm
Get tickets at SeatGeek »


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