Cleveland Charge leaving Wolstein Center

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – Next season, Cleveland Charge basketball fans will no longer head to the Wolstein Center, instead a new multi-year agreement between Rock Entertainment Group (REG) and the City of Cleveland will place NBA G League games inside the historic Cleveland Public Auditorium.

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“I’m excited the Cavaliers continue to invest in downtown Cleveland,” said Council President Blaine A. Griffin in a press release. “Not only are they investing millions in renovations, but bringing life back to Public Auditorium which has been used for sporting events going back to at least 1936, when 11,000 watched boxer Joe Louis defeat Eddie Simms.”

The Cleveland Public Auditorium is downtown, connected to the Huntington Convention Center, and has a 10,000-seat auditorium. According to a press release, the team will “significantly invest” in upgrading the back-of-house facilities and amenities.

Officials note that between the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse and the upcoming Cleveland Clinic Global Peak Performance Center, the Charge’s new placement at Public Hall will be another part of what they called the “Rock Entertainment Group’s downtown sports ecosystem.”

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“Our move to Cleveland three years ago positioned us for what turned out to be three successful seasons at the Wolstein Center. We now look forward to our franchise’s next chapter and the continued growth of the Charge at this historic, city-owned venue. We can’t wait for next season,” said Mike Ostrowski with Rock Entertainment Group in a press release.

According to a spokesperson with Cleveland State University, on May 31, the school was informed by Cleveland Charge that the team would not be extending its agreement to lease the Wolstein Center.

“We are thankful for our successful three-year partnership with the Charge and wish them the best,” said the statement from Cleveland State.

The Cleveland Public Auditorium should be ready for fans and the team beginning with the 2024-25 NBA G League season.

“This move underscores our commitment to leveraging incredible historic assets like Public Auditorium and bringing more people to downtown Cleveland. We look forward to a great season and a successful partnership,” stated Mayor Justin Bibb in the release.

It’s not yet clear what the future holds for the Wolstein Center. Cleveland State officials note that the Campus Master Plan, which was approved back in November 2022, includes provisions for a multi-use arena, parking garage, and mixed-use district.

School leaders said, there are no immediate plans to demolish the Wolstein Center.

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