Cavs encouraged by sudden twist in arena makeover project

CLEVELAND (AP) A group opposing a $140 million renovation to Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena has dropped its petitions for a city referendum, clearing the way for the project to be approved.

Earlier this week, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert pulled out of paying for half of the makeover to his team's 20,000-seat downtown arena. However, Greater Cleveland Congregations, which didn't want tax dollars going toward the project's funding, withdrew petitions Thursday challenging the deal.

The Cavaliers are hoping to host a future NBA All-Star game and think an exterior face-lift and new dining spaces - among other upgrades - will make Cleveland's bid for the event more attractive.

''We are very encouraged by this new development related to the private-public partnership plan to transform The Q for the long term,'' team CEO Len Komoroski said in a statement. ''We are reviewing the impact of this change and discussing it further with the county, the city and others.''

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