CLEVELAND - Dan Gilbert wanted to make it clear: So long as he's the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team isn't going anywhere.
Days after he pulled the plug on the Q Transformation Project, which would have provided a $140 million renovation to Quicken Loans Arena, Gilbert took to Twitter to pledge his loyalty to the city of Cleveland.
CLE,Let's put any silly rumors to rest: I will never move the Cleveland Cavaliers out of Cleveland. Period. And that's unconditional.@cavs— Dan Gilbert (@cavsdan) August 31, 2017
Gilbert's tweet comes on the heels of Cleveland lawyer Fred Nance, who negotiated the now-dead renovation deal on behalf of Cuyahoga County, telling WKYC that the cancellation of the transformation project puts the Cavs' future in Cleveland in jeopardy. The renovation deal would have extended the Cavs' lease, which is currently set to expire in 2027, to 2034.
Gilbert and the Cavs brought an end to the deal on Monday, 18 days after the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the agreement between the team and county must go to a public vote. The court's ruling came after a group named the Greater Cleveland Congregations led a petition drive to present the court with the aforementioned referendum against the deal.
The Cavs stated that delays caused by the GCC's referendum attempt made the project "unfeasible," and likely cost Cleveland a chance at hosting the 2020 or 2021 NBA All-Star Games.
Nance, for his part, speculated that it wouldn't be Gilbert, but potentially somebody who buys the team from him who could potentially move the team without a renovated -- or entirely new -- arena in place.
Gilbert, however, made it clear on Thursday that if the Cavs ever were to one day leave the city, he wouldn't be the reason why.
© 2017 WKYC-TV