Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald said there will be a $500 million annual economic impact in ticket sales and spending, among other benefits.
While we already know that LeBron’s decision is a tremendous boost for our civic pride, it is also going to have very real benefits for the middle class families who live here in Cuyahoga County,” FitzGerald, a Democrat running for governor this year, said in a release.
Forbes' January valuation of the Cavaliers was $515 million, ranking 19th among 30 NBA franchises. With James back, the team is worth $1 billion, another county official said, according to Bloomberg.
James, 29, announced last week on SI.com that he would return to Cleveland, where he spent the first seven seasons of his career after being selected No. 1 overall in the 2003 draft.
James decided to join the Heat in 2010, famously declaring he would take his "talents" to South Beach, and made four consecutive appearances in the Finals, winning two championships.