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November 1, 2018

Adam Silver

Dan Gilbert

Len Komoroski

Frank Jackson

Armond Budish

Marcia Fudge

New York, New York

FRED McLEOD: Good afternoon, everyone. I'm Fred McLeod. Welcome to the Quicken Loans Arena. Might just say the new and improved Quicken Loans Arena. As you know, the transformation process has been ongoing, and obviously it's a fantastic place that continues to be even better. As you look at the artist's rendition of the finished product, which is only nine months away, think about it, in August, we'll see this view from Ontario Street. It's going to be one of the finest arenas, of course, in the world.

Obviously this is a very exciting day for not only the NBA but the Cleveland Cavaliers and of course all of Northeast Ohio, with the news that's about to come. It's going to be the 75th anniversary of the NBA, imagine that, in just a few years, which really ties in beautifully to 1997, the last time we had an All-Star Game in this particular building. And what a special weekend that was. It was the 50th-year celebration of the NBA. Remember, the 50 Greatest Players were in the building wearing those leather jackets. The East beat the West, and Glen Rice was the MVP. You may recall it was the first and only time I think someone from the University of Michigan was actually cheered in this building. But certainly a lot of memories then, and we're about ready to make some great memories coming up, for sure.

We'll be hearing about the transformation process as well as what this means to the city of Cleveland in just a moment. But first of all, I thought we'd get a chance to meet our distinguished group of dignitaries, starting with a man who back in January earned his fourth term in office as the mayor of the city of Cleveland. The longest-running mayor in our great city, Mayor Frank Jackson.

Our next guest is currently serving as Cuyahoga County Executive after a long career representing Ohio's eighth district in the state house, Armond Budish.

Next, please welcome the Congresswoman who for 10 years has served the 11th district, Marcia Fudge.

Our next guest his served the citizens of Ohio in four different legislative bodies. He's currently the president of the Cuyahoga County Council, Dan Brady.

Next up, this gentleman was first elected to the Cleveland City Council in 2005. He's been serving as council president for the last five years, Kevin Kelly.

No one is wearing a bigger smile than this man, believe me, the president and CEO of Greater Cleveland Sports Commission as well as Destination Cleveland, our region's convention and visitors' bureau, David Gilbert. See what I mean?

Next up, our chief executive officer of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans arena, Len Komoroski.

Next up, our founder and chairman of Quicken Loans, Rock Ventures and of course the chairman of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dan Gilbert.

All of these folks obviously had a major hand in the events that have led up to this historic day for the city of Cleveland, Ohio. And to now make it official, let's welcome the commissioner of the NBA, Adam Silver.

ADAM SILVER: Thank you all for being here, and thank you very much, Fred. Without further ado, it's my honor and privilege to announce that the 2022 All-Star Game will be held here in Cleveland, Ohio, at what will then be the transformed Quicken Loans Arena. I just want to echo what Fred said and offer a few thank-yous myself. First of all, to Dan Gilbert and Len Komoroski, I can't really do justice to the number of discussions -- I don't know if I should say pleading, but passionate pleas to bring the All-Star Game back here. When the discussions began with the civic leaders here about the transformation of the Quicken Loans Arena, I think we all felt that it was only fitting if that was something that could be done, if this public-private partnership could be completed, that it only then made sense to bring another All-Star Game here to Cleveland.

And as Fred pointed out, there is real symmetry to 2022. In 1997, I was with the league at the time and I was here when we celebrated the 50 Greatest Players in the league at the time. It was very memorable event. I'm sure with Dan and Len and their great organization, we're going to be planning similar things for 2022. And we'll also make this another remarkable, outstanding event in NBA history. So thank you for that.

Just a few other thank-yous. To Mayor Jackson, who promised me he would still be mayor -- when we said 2022, he looked at a calendar and he said, "We'll see." But anyway, it couldn't have happened without him. Armond Budish, thank you. I know day in and day out this was something you worked so hard on, and we really appreciate that. Congresswoman Fudge, I know behind the scenes, I don't know if you have the power in Washington, D.C., to make All-Star Games happen, but you seem to in this case. Thank you, though, and thank you for being here today. And Dan and Kevin as well, it was really a group effort.

What we were saying before we came out here today is -- I won't make any comment about national politics right now, but they work on a local level. I can say that in all of my activities around the country in working on arenas and All-Star Games and the kinds of support that we see for our teams in these communities, they wouldn't happen without bipartisan leadership, without cities, counties and states working together. This is a model example of that happening just here today.

Lastly, I'll just say that 2022 will be coming sooner than we all think. It's right around the corner, and I know that we're already beginning to plan. As you all know, it's not just an All-Star Game anymore, but it's essentially a week's worth of activities. We're going to be thinking of things to involve not just the city but the entire county in events that we can use to celebrate the sport of basketball.

Thank you all very much for being here today.

FRED McLEOD: Thanks, Adam, not only for what you've done for Cleveland but also on a personal note what you've done for the NBA. The league is in a tremendous place, and your leadership has been tremendous.

No one is more proud of what this day means to the city of Cleveland than the chairman of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dan Gilbert.

DAN GILBERT: Thank you. First of all, that suit is just unbelievable, Fred. I thought it was Austin [Carr] for a second. He has always wanted to dress as good as Austin. Now you're in the same league. It's great.

I'd like to thank everybody on this stage, from the folks here from Cleveland, Kevin, Dan, Marcia Fudge, and Armond Budish from the county, and of course the mayor.

The first time I met the mayor was roughly, I believe, 2006-ish. We had bought the team in '05. It's been 13 years, believe it or not, and since that day, I've been talking to two -- actually one commissioner who is no longer the commissioner. He is retired, as you know. When you're a rookie owner, just like you're a rookie player, when you ask for things like how about the All-Star Game in Cleveland, they give you a look and they don't even respond for a while.

So then a couple years later they respond and say, We'll talk about it. And then a few years after that, it's, Well, maybe. Then we got a new commissioner.

Then we started the process all over again. We started I think initially 2018, '19, '20, then '21. But we knew sooner or later we'd get it.

Of course, working with the great people up on this stage here and the great public-private partnership that was able to come together on a local level and redo this beautiful building, us as a tenant and the county and of course the Gateway as the landlord. Working together to provide long-term investment into this great facility is not only going to allow the NBA All-Star Game, but I'm sure other types of events in the future here that we probably wouldn't have a shot or a chance at getting. It puts Cleveland on the stage for the whole world to see, which is great for the region. You can't measure all this stuff and how important it is and how valuable it is to the future growth and the reputation of a city like Cleveland, which is clearly on its way back in a big way, partly due to or mostly due to a lot of people on this stage here.

Thank you all for all your support. Looking forward to hopefully having a player or two in that NBA All-Star Game. It gives us a few years to do that, but I believe. So thank you all. I'm going back to Fred McLeod, I believe, right, and that suit. Thank you.

FRED McLEOD: Thanks for throwing down the hammer there, Dan. Since I'm dressed like Austin, I might as well vicariously live through him. Let's hear from a man who, believe me, I'm so impressed with how he has led the charge 24/7 for this incredible Q transformation. He's got more than 30 years' experience in professional sports and entertainment, our own CEO and CEO of the Quicken Loans Arena, Len Komoroski.

LEN KOMOROSKI: Thanks, Fred. First of all, just to say thank you, Adam, and also Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum. They were truly partners in this entire process. As has been alluded to, Dan, we went and met with Adam initially and Mark. It's been a journey going through this, but also working in conjunction with our partners and making this all happen.

With the Q transformation, as Dan noted, we have a venue right now which not only has been competing over the last 25 years -- believe it or not, this building is 25 years old -- but for the next 25 years will be able to compete not only for events like the NBA All-Star weekend but other major national and international events. Something we all can be proud of.

But there was a lot of blood, sweat and tears that went into this and a tremendous number of people out here, too, that also helped make this happen, such as not only for this event but for the Q transformation. Cleveland State, Huntington Convention Center, all of our amazing hotel owners and operators, the NAACP, Presidents' Council, the Greater Cleveland Partnership, the Downtown Cleveland Alliance, the building trades and construction unions, United Pastors in Mission, the Urban League, Gateway and many, many others who also helped make it happen.

And one special note, we had some civic leaders behind the scenes who really worked hard to help make the Q transformation a reality -- Carole Hoover, Fred Nance and Albert Ratner. Without their efforts, we wouldn't be here today as well.

Really excited about showcasing Cleveland. This is a city on the rise. We've got a team on the rise, Koby Altman leading the charge with our crew there, and we have a building that will be able to compete with any in the world. An incredibly exciting time. We couldn't be more excited to show off Cleveland in 2022 on an international stage.

Stay tuned, folks. The best is yet to come. Thanks.

FRED McLEOD: Those of us who grew up here have an incredible passion for our city. We love Cleveland, Ohio. We love it when it says Cleveland across the front. But no one is more proud or can understand the impact this will have on our city than a gentleman of course who grew up in the Central neighborhood, Mayor Frank Jackson.

FRANK JACKSON: Good afternoon. I wanted to congratulate Mr. Gilbert and the Cavaliers' organization on achieving the All-Star Game for Cleveland, and also welcome the commissioner back to Cleveland. Every time he comes, he brings good news. So I welcome you back to Cleveland.

As was mentioned, this would not be possible if it were not for the partnership between the Cavaliers' organization and the county and the city in particular. What I like most about Mr. Gilbert and the Cavs' organization, they made it possible for us to have a deal. Many times when we're asked to be partners in a private-public partnership, it becomes a very difficult challenge. But they made it so that it made it much easier for us because of the terms that they were willing to agree with.

I want to really thank the Cavaliers and Mr. Gilbert for doing their part, which I don't think they've gotten full recognition for. But for that, we would not have this All-Star Game. So again, congratulations, and thank you very much.

FRED McLEOD: Thanks very much, Mr. Mayor. Our next speaker is not only the Cuyahoga County Executive but also the former Speaker of the House in Columbus and the Ohio legislature. Let's welcome Armond Budish.

ARMOND BUDISH: Hello, everybody. This is great news for the people of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. This is the place to be. We're the city of stars. We have the All-Star Game for baseball next year, and now we're getting the All-Star Game for basketball. This is really exciting.

When Cuyahoga County made the decision to invest in the transformation of the Q, Dan Brady and I and council knew it would be a very, very positive thing. We knew the transformation would bring more jobs to the county. We knew it would keep our Cavs here through 2034, and hopefully long beyond that. It would continue to attract 200 additional events to this building every year, and it would transform this building into a truly world-class, competitive, fan-friendly facility.

And now our investment is really paying off by bringing us the NBA All-Star Game for 2022. That will have an expected economic impact of $100 million in the region, which is very, very significant.

So our city and county will again shine on the national and international stage, and our businesses and residents will reap the rewards. Thank you very much.

FRED McLEOD: Thanks very much, Armond. Let's hear from our final speaker and welcome to the podium Congresswoman Marcia Fudge.

MARCIA FUDGE: Thank you very much. I want to thank and congratulate Dan Gilbert not just for this but for all the things you do for this community and all the promises that you have made and that you have kept. I thank you for that. Mr. Commissioner, I've heard really, really good things about you, how smart and everything you are, and once you made that announcement, I knew they were telling the truth.

You could not have picked a better place for the 75th All-Star Game than Cleveland, Ohio. Couldn't have picked a better place. Mayor, you have made our community one that welcomes these kinds of events and makes it possible, and I thank you. And I thank the county as well. Armond, thank you for all the work you do.

I just want to say that even though I'm up here, there are so many people that made this happen. People in our communities that I'm looking at right now who made this happen.

So I want to say that I am proud to be a Clevelander. This is my home. It is always going to be my home. And I want you to know, Mr. Commissioner, this is the best location in the nation.

FRED McLEOD: Marcia, have you ever thought about getting into coaching? My goodness, I'd run through a brick wall for you.

Thank you very much for joining us on NBA TV, NBA.com, Cavs.com and the NBA App. We can now ring in the news, the All-Star Game in 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio, the best players in the world, ready to put on a spectacular show. The game will be televised in primetime on TNT for the 20th consecutive year, marking the 37th year of continuing coverage on Turner Sports of All-Star weekend. So we say go Cavs, go NBA, as we look forward to a very bright future, not only here in Cleveland but in the National Basketball Association.

I'm Fred McLeod. Thanks for joining, everybody.

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