Update II: New Gladiators' owner Dan Gilbert was unavailable to speak to the media during the press conference earlier this week announcing the acquisition of the arena team, but he shared a few thoughts with Scene today prior to the tipoff of the Cavs game.
"We're excited about it," Gilbert says. "To keep it here, and build on what they did before."
"We liked having them in the arena, and it was a good run," he says. "I think they were going to sort of potentially not be here this year [if this didn't happen]. It was a pretty easy transaction, not a long, complicated negotiation. We wanted to keep the team here. It's not going to be a massive money maker, you know, but we don't really care about that. We wanted to fill up as many dates [in the arena] as we could, and give fans the best experience we can."
"The thing is, we already had the infrastructure here already," he says. "We have the marketing, the people. So it's kind of easy in that regard, you don't have to hire a bunch of additional people. We can deploy ours."
Update: It's official today: Dan Gilbert purchased the Gladiators, just like we told you ten days ago when we broke the news. Press conference in the early afternoon for the announcement.
A little birdie tells Scene that Dan Gilbert is buying the Cleveland Gladiators, the arena football team that already plays its games at The Q. (We tweeted erroneously last night that Dan Gilbert "bought" the team, which implied it was done. We definitely should have said "is buying." Our mistake. Blame it on the Jameson. The source, however, said it's happening.)
Crain's posted a report this morning that the talks are in the "early stages" and that nothing is "imminent." Fox 8's John Telich tweeted that nothing is done, but that the Gilbert has interest and is doing his "due diligence."
The Gladiators are currently owned by Jim Ferraro, a man with a long history of success and controversy, both here and in Florida.
Either way, it looks like Dan Gilbert will pick up the deed to yet another Cleveland organization. It's only a matter of time before he owns the gas station down the street from your house, too.