Pacers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers Basketball Tickets?
Capacity: 20,562 seats
Dance Team: The Cavalier Girls
Team Chant: Let's Go Cavs!
Draft Beer: $6.75
Hot Dog: $4.25
One Center Court
Cleveland, OH 44115
Arena Parking: $15.00
NBA Basketball Arena Review - Quicken Loans Arena
My continuing journey to complete a full circuit of the National Basketball Association, visiting every NBA arena as a fan of each local franchise, resumed in November 2010 with a visit to Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Quicken Loans Arena is home to the Cleveland Cavaliers and is situated in a prime location as part of the Gateway Sports and Entertainment Complex, consisting of Quickens Loans Arena, Progressive Field (home of the Cleveland Indians), and Gateway Plaza. This area is the central hub for Cleveland sports fans as a number of bars, night clubs and restaurants surround the sports complex, providing a variety of pre and post-game entertainment options for fans who come into the city to watch their favorite sports teams. Thereís also plenty of parking in and around Quicken Loans Arena and I would advise first timers to the area to plan to arrive early, grab some dinner and a few drinks, and stay late to really soak in the vibrant Cleveland night life.
As for me, my evening began around 5:00pm with dinner at one of my favorite local spots in the East 4th Street Entertainment District, Flannery's Pub. Right along East 4th Street between Euclid and Prospect Avenue, sports fans will find a number of restaurant options to suit any taste as several of them line both sides of the road. Personally, I like Flannery's. Good Irish food complimented by a solid selection of local beer on tap and coupled with a great open air dining experience, make Flannery's a great choice for a pregame meal. I also like the House of Blues located at the other end of 4th street. Depending on what you're looking for, both are solid dining and entertainment options, but the best part about eating dinner on East 4th Street is that you're located a short walk from Quicken Loans Arena.
I typically like to arrive at the arena early and the "Q", as it is known by locals, opens its doors about an hour before tip-off. Before the game begins, fans can walk down to the courtside area to watch as their favorite stars warm up and get ready for the evening's contest. We walked around a bit, chatted with the ushers, and watched as some of the kids got autographs, but as gametime approached we headed to our seats.
Walking the concourses of Quicken Loans Arena, I was impressed by the feeling of community that seems to resonate through there. The fans were fairly amicable and eager to chat about their Cleveland Cavaliers. I also found the Quicken Loans Arena Staffers to be very friendly and approachable. Arena staffers had setup sign building stations for the kids around to arena so they make their own signs for the game. It was a nice way to involve and occupy the kids while really getting them into the spirit of pro basketball.
Concessions were pretty standard, there was nothing really extraordinary on the menu, but they were priced competitively with what I'm accustomed to seeing around the league. I thought the draft beer was very reasonably priced at $6.75.
Like most of the country, I feel for the fans of Cleveland Cavaliers. During the Michael Jordan years, the Cavaliers were the doormat that Jordan trampled over en route to six NBA titles, but they persevered and weathered the storm. When it was finally their turn, with a super star of their own who dominated the NBA and was capable of leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a well-deserved NBA Title, he took them to the brink of a championship and left town. LeBron James was a home grown talent from Akron, Ohio who was the face of this franchise. His prime time special this summer announcing his move to South Florida made a mockery of the city that gave him his start and the fanbase that supported his rise. King James has to be one of the most hated men in the City of Cleveland, and thatís unfortunate. It certainly wasn't fair, but Cavs fans will weather the storm again and rise from these ashes.
Finding our seats in Section 208 we waited for the game to begin, but as the Cavs took the court, there were very few familiar faces. Starting point guard Mo Williams and starting center Anderson Varejao, both missed the game because of groin and rib injuries, respectively. So the LeBron James-less Cavaliers, took the floor shorthanded without their best shooter and without one of their better defenders. Throughout the first half the Cavaliers kept up with the Pacers and in the remaining minutes of the half, rallied from a 55-44 deficit to tie the game at 54 apiece. To open the second half, the Pacers went on a 9-2 run erasing the halftime time and they never looked back. Without a true go-to superstar in the lineup, the Cavs spread the ball around and proved that life without LeBron will make for a very long season. They finally lost to the Pacers 99-85, falling to 4-5 with a 1-4 record at home. The team that used to dominate opponents in Quicken Loans Arena, building an imposing home field advantage over the years, is a shell of what it once was.
Not one to dwell on the shortcomings of my sports teams, I decided to drown my sorrows in an ice cold draft beverage of choice. Fortunately for me, the area in and around Quicken Loans arena is jam packed with an incredibly vibrant night life. Sports bars, restaurants and clubs are open till the wee hours of the morning located in both the East 4th Street and Warehouse Districts. In years past, Clevelanders used to go to the area called "The Flats", but unfortunately most of the bars and clubs in the Flats have been shut down. The Warehouse District is really where itís at these days and thatís where my evening concluded.
For more information on the city of Cleveland, Ohio check out my other reviews by clicking on the links below:
NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers, Quicken Loans Arena - General Information
NFL: November 14, 2010 - New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns
NFL: December 16, 2007 - Buffalo Bills vs. Cleveland Browns