With LeBron gone, who will come see Cleveland’s new glass wall?

LeBron James is a Laker, which means the Cleveland Cavaliers will be really, really, laughably bad next season, and probably for many seasons to come. Which means Cavs fans won’t have much reason to come out and see the team’s new glass wall.

Bloomberg News, for one, is worried about the effect on the new ticket tax that’s helping pay for the arena’s renovations:

The departure of the team’s biggest draw could pose risks if attendance drops, given that a tax on ticket sales is used to help pay off the debt.

Risks to who would that be exactly, Bloomberg doesn’t say. But given that the ticket taxes would be collected by the city to help repay $140 million in public debt on the stadium upgrades, it sure looks like taxpayers will be on the hook for repaying it if there’s any shortfall, much like happened in Cincinnati with the Bengals stadium when sales tax receipts fell short, with dire consequences.

But hey, maybe with the Cavs’ future in the toilet, Clevelanders will instead spend more money on concerts — substitution effect, right? Except that the Cavs’ arena already just had a record-setting year for concerts, so expecting much improvement in that department is probably ambitious. Maybe they can sell the glass wall on eBay.

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14 comments on “With LeBron gone, who will come see Cleveland’s new glass wall?

  1. I’m not sure what your definition of “really, really, laughably bad” equates to, but I doubt they’ll be 10-20 win range. Below .500, yes. Historically bad? Unlikely.

    1. They’re shopping Love as we speak and without LeBron and him they’re at best a 25-win team.

  2. There will be someone who’s super interested in glass or walls who’d want to see it. In college, the Electrical Engineering department would get calls every so often from folks who wanted to see the Strowger Switch which was in the area. That is some obscure stuff to go and see, super obscure, but yes important and folks wanted to see it anyway.

    My guess is that they’ll get people to come and see it since this is like the largest wall of glass. 8th maybe 9th Wonder of the World right there. Whether or not that will be enough people to support the operational costs of the arena is an open question.

    1. Perhaps people who are in the glass-blowing industry will come. I know that some technical schools teach class blowing. It is possible that these schools could plan field trips to Cleveland so that the students could observe the glass wall.

      1. Class Blowing…. a more apt freudian slip I can’t imagine…

        The glass wall is just evidence of Gilbert’s genius. He’s shipping out all his playing assets (again). He knew he was going to do this, so that’s why he needed the incredible 8th Wonder of the world glass wall.

        Sure, fans don’t have Lebron to cheer for (again). But they’ve got a glass wall that they paid to build and now can pay to come and see all built and everything!

        It’s really not that far from the basic Quicken Loans business model, when you think about it.

        1. The Glass Wall sounds like it’ll be a perfect nickname for whatever frontcourt the Cavs run out there.

  3. Looking at the positives. Apparently everyone in Cleveland has free access to the Rock HOF…..so…..yay that.

  4. Gotta give Dan Gilbert some props: That guy has a rare gift for getting stadium handouts. This glass wall is small potatoes for him. Detroit officials still talk about him like he single-handedly saved downtown yet nobody goes to the games at his new arena and he only got all the funding by buying up large sections of land and letting it sit in squalor. Literally, his entire strategy was to buy low, let it sit and fall into even worse shape, then collect tons of public money to help him redevelop the area he allowed to be blighted in the first place.

    1. The late Mike Illitch, whose family currently owns the Red Wings and Tigers, was the one who got the new arena built, not Gilbert.

    2. With regard to Detroit, Dan Gilbert is a hero and quite possibly the single most responsible person for whatever revitalization is going on in that town. That city’s population plummeted from 2 million to something like 700,000 and was a total wasteland, and then Dan Gilbert appeared to be the only person with private sector money willing to invest and develop downtown real estate. I’m sure he got some tax breaks along the way. Anyone who would want to begrudge that hasn’t been paying attention to how capitalism works in these united states and there isn’t a Governor out there who doesn’t dole out special tax breaks like candy to win development (whether you’re Wisconsin Governor Walker or New Jersey Governor Murphy).

      1. Hero, Carpetbagger… it’s all a matter of perspective.

        If Gilbert really wanted to appear a hero he would invest his own money without expecting, much less demanding, public subsidy for his projects.

        On the other hand, if he is trying to ‘buy his way into heaven’ in true robber baron style, he should pay closer attention to what Rockefeller, Carnegie and Vanderbilt did (entirely with their own ill gotten gains).

  5. In other personnel actions, never change Coyotes.


    So, the new arena is coming soon, right? ;-)

    1. Any minute now there’ll be an announcement!

      As you know the hardest part is selecting from the tidal wave… make that plethora of tidal waves… of communities that all desperately want the Coyotes!

      No! Really! This time we mean it!

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