Opinion: Cleveland: A city on the rebound


Ray Paoletta is a senior political science major. Contact him at [email protected].

Ray Paoletta

Cleveland is desperate. That was the underlying message in a Boston Globe column from Tuesday. Cleveland was painted as a run-down, dead city filled with low-class people. The writer even poked fun at affordable beer prices at downtown bars — who does that? That Boston Globe column seriously does a disservice to the truth about the revitalization of Cleveland.

After being hit hard during the most recent recession, Cleveland has bounced back nicely. Cleveland has and will continue to reap economic benefits from hosting events ranging from sports to politics. The city has placed itself on the map, and people and businesses are lining up to check us out. Cleveland’s local economy experienced a shot in the arm over the last year and will continue to rebuild moving forward. 

A city sees economic growth when dollars outside the city make their way into the city. Since 2014, numerous events have pumped millions of dollars into the local economy. A study done by Kent State professors Shawn Rohlin and Nadia Greenhalgh-Stanley stated that the Gay Games held in the Cleveland area had an economic impact of $52 million dollars and brought 20,000 visitors to the area. In addition, Cleveland also hosted NCAA tournament games that pumped another estimated $8-10 million dollars into the regional economy. 

But Cleveland’s story does not end with those two events. Just last week the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony and celebration was held in Cleveland. The celebration generated an estimated $15 million dollars of revenue for the city. It might sound too good to be true, but there’s more for the desperate city. 

Last summer, the Republican National Committee announced they would nominate their next presidential candidate in Cleveland. The convention will bring an estimated 55,000 people and $400 million dollars in economic impact. The city will even host the first Republican primary debate this summer. Lastly, the Cleveland Port Authority reports that it employs 18,000 people and brings in $1.8 billion dollars of economic impact per year, which is more money than the convention and LeBron James will bring to the economy combined.

People can judge for themselves, but it appears the city of Cleveland is looking strong and couldn’t keep money from being pumped into the local economy if it tried. So yes, we might be desperate for a championship, but there is more than sports in Cleveland, and the city’s outlook is good.

I will end with an invitation to Boston Globe writer, Dan Shaughnessy: When a Cleveland sports team finally captures that elusive title, I will gladly let you put a $3 tall boy on my tab because I am sure I am not alone in saying $3 beer is a perk, not a bad thing.