By Ohio.org Staff
Posted On: Feb 8, 2022
Len Komoroski's career was riding high when the calendar turned to 2003.
He and his family were living in Philadelphia with Len serving as senior vice president of business operations for the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles. The team had made the conference championship two years in a row and was expected to only get better.
"We were on top of the world in Philly," said Len.
But Len decided to take a new job in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cleveland Cavaliers franchise of the NBA recruited him as their president, and Len took a chance on Ohio.
At the time, the Cavaliers were last in the league in wins, attendance and revenue. But Len, who had previously spent time in the state with the Cleveland Lumberjacks hockey team, saw great potential.
"My wife and I are from Pittsburgh, and we knew having previously lived in Cleveland, that it was a lot like home. Authentic people with Midwestern charm. Cleveland has Lake Erie and so many other attractions," said Len.
His new employer also had potential. Len moved his family back to Cleveland in March 2003, and by June, the Cavaliers used the first pick of the draft on an 18-year-old named LeBron James. The Cavaliers have since made five NBA Finals appearances, winning the title in 2016. Today's team is on the upswing again with a new core of young and talented players.
Len has always seen Ohio in a positive light.
"One of our strengths is its diversity. We have so many urban areas and three major cities, but I love also going to Amish Country to experience a slower pace. The Cuyahoga Valley National Park and Ohio's state parks are some of the best in the country to experience through all four seasons. Ohio has so much to offer."
Having lived in Philadelphia, Chicago and Minneapolis, Len also appreciates the ease of in-state travel from city to city and the reasonable cost of living.
"The secret is out about Ohio as more and more people discover our state," said Len.
Len Komoroski (middle), CEO of the Cleveland Cavaliers, celebrates the announcement of the NBA All Star Game coming to Cleveland in Feb. 2022 with Cavs Chairman Dan Gilbert (left) and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver (right).
Big Events Shine Spotlight on Ohio
The four-straight NBA Finals appearances from 2014-17 offered billions around the world a chance to see Cleveland. The city also hosted the Republican National Convention in 2016, attracting roughly 50,000 attendees.
Len notes the many other major events hosted by Ohio that followed. Just in 2021, Ohio hosted the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction, the NFL Draft, the Solheim Cup, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Induction and the NCAA Women's Volleyball Championships.
"These events are our window to the world to show off our waterfronts and all the other world-class assets. We're really proud of how people see our state."
In February 2022, Cleveland hosts the NBA All-Star Game at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, which will also serve as a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the league. The event is expected to bring $100 million of economic impact to northeast Ohio and offering a view of one of Ohio’s greatest assets to billions of people.
"I think people are optimistic about the present and future of our state. We have so much to look forward to. We're confident in ourselves as a place where you can live, work, learn and play, and I am excited to be a part of it," said Len.