PERSPECTIVE | Will arena availability be crunch issue for RNC?

CLEVELAND -- A technical team of Republicans will be in Cleveland Monday and the conversations will focus on one major question.

Can the Q be available for a late June convention, the earlier-than-normal start date Republicans want?

The Cavs and Dan Gilbert pledge to do what's necessary and possible to keep Republicans happy.

Here's the crunch.

Both the Cavs and the Dallas Mavericks have iron-clad commitments with the NBA to make sure arenas are available all the way through the championship round of playoffs.

The Mavs play in the American Airlines Center and Dallas has an NHL team, the Stars, with a similar playoff access issue.

So far, Mavs owner Mark Cuban is not budging or talking about moving playoff games someplace else.,

Republicans want a June convention to give their nominee a fast start for November and the presumed battle with expected Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

The GOP would prefer a June 27 convention. Dallas is saying the only week it can handle is July 18. Besides the arena conflict, too many of its hotel rooms are locked up in June.

The Cavs project that, if they made the final round of the playoffs, a very big IF, a possible home game 7 would be about June 17, ten days before the Republicans' desired start date.

Republicans want exclusive access 4 to 6 weeks before a convention to to remake the winning arena into a convention-ready facility.

The Cavs and the city's convention team believe it can be done much faster with shared access.

Funding, hotel rooms, security and transportation are all big factors.

But on the big arena issue , Cleveland has the upper hand. Monday, it hopes to strengthen it. Let the negotiations begin.

Follow Tom Beres on Twitter @TomBeres


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