Word came Tuesday of a dispute between the city of Cleveland and a group demanding a chance to give voters there a say on a $140 million upgrade at Quicken Loans Arena.
The dispute is whether it should be financed with a package that includes higher admission charges.
It is the latest chapter in the continuing debate over the value of arenas and stadiums in major cities, and who should foot the bill when they’re built or when tenants want them modernized.
Anyone who’s been to downtown Cleveland since the opening of new venues for the Indians and Cavaliers in the mid 1990’s can’t dispute that they’ve been at least partially responsible for a rebirth of Cleveland’s downtown area.
But it’s easy to understand why people in that predominately blue collar region might object loudly to paying more than they already pay to attend games or concerts.
The Ohio Supreme Court will be asked to decide whether the city of Cleveland was within it’s rights to deny a voter initiative to place the Quicken Loans complex upgrade before voters for a decision.
You can bet government officials in other Ohio cities, and those involved with the other college and pro teams which play here, will be watching the high court proceedings with a lot of interest.
That’s the way I see it.