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SBD/July 9, 2014/Sports in SocietyPrint All
Cleveland yesterday was announced as the host of the '16 Republican National Convention, and it is believed that the "expected June availability of Quicken Loans Arena, which will host floor events for the convention, played a role" in Cleveland beating out Dallas for the event, according to a front-page piece by Andrew Tobias of the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER (7/9). In Detroit, Tom Walsh reports Cavaliers Owner Dan Gilbert helped the city's pitch by assuring the GOP that the arena "will be available" if the convention opens in June. The promise comes even if the Cavaliers are "still alive during the NBA playoffs." Without specifying an alternate site for the NBA games, Gilbert wrote in an e-mail, "Dates are already worked out should that happen.” Cleveland beat out Dallas to land the RNC, and the issue of the NBA Finals taking place during the convention "was discussed" with both cities. Cleveland was "presumed to have an advantage" over Dallas regarding scheduling, as Gilbert owns Quicken Loans Arena. American Airlines Center in Dallas is owned by the city, so the Mavericks "would have a more difficult time moving their games if they made it far into the postseason" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 7/9). In Dallas, Benning & Gillman note Dallas "couldn’t match Cleveland in offering the GOP’s preferred start date" in June '16. The GOP has said that it "wants its convention early so its presidential candidate can start spending in the general election as soon as possible." But the possibility of the Mavericks or Stars playing in the NBA or NHL Finals, respectively, meant it was "July or nothing" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 7/9).