Amid more opposition Union members support Q Arena plan

This rendering of the proposed Quicken Loans Arena renovation shows what the upgraded arena would look like if the controversial plan is approved.

Amid a growing controversy between African American clergy and community leaders, the powerful 14,000 Cleveland Building & Construction Trades Council – which has members in 17 unions held a press conference to announce their support for Quicken Loans Arena plan on Monday Feb. 20.

They say the $160 million in tax dollars renovation to expand 23-year old Quicken Loans Arena will bring jobs to local laborers and therefore are backing the plan.

"We own the project so we should fund it," said Dave Wondolowski, executive secretary of the organization. "From our perspective this is first and foremost about jobs for our members, but more importantly it's about keeping the ball rolling in Cleveland, keeping our foot on the pedal and continuing growth

The Cleveland Cavaliers want to upgrade the fan experience at the Q, with work that would cost $282 million over 18 years. The Cavs would pay $122 million through increased rent.

Cuyahoga County, the City of Cleveland and Destination Cleveland would all chip in for the public portion.

Meanwhile the growing opposition to the Q Arena deal has grew to include the organization Greater Cleveland Congregations (GCC) headed by Reverend Dr. Jawanza Karriem Colvin, member of the GCC Strategy team and pastor of Olivet Institutional Baptist Church.

The GCC is opposed to the deal as presently constituted and vow that there is a clear sign that there will not be business as usual in Cleveland this year.

GCC, activist organizations, residents of some of Cleveland’s poorest neighborhoods, and now the father of Alianna DeFreeze, the murdered 14 year- old girl whose body was found in a vacant house in Cleveland, oppose an agreement that only supports increased downtown development without equivalent investment in our neighborhoods, it said in a statement.