SANDUSKY — If LeBron James finally decides to come back to Cleveland and the Cavs, the folks at Cedar Point are pledging to rename one of their big roller coasters after him.
“We are serious about this,” Cedar Point spokesman Bryan Edwards said Wednesday in response to questions about the legitimacy of a Twitter post by the park that read:
— Cedar Point (@cedarpoint) July 9, 2014
Edwards confirmed the idea for the posting came straight from park CEO Matt Ouimet, who succeeded the retiring Dick Kinzel, who guided the park through its years of biggest growth.
Ouimet is a former Walt Disney Co. executive who worked for Disney for 17 years in positions including president of the Disney Cruise Line and the Disneyland Resort in California.
“Matt is very passionate about this area of the country and a big supporter of Ohio,” Edwards said. “He thinks this is a great place to live and visit. Matt also wanted to lend our support to the Cavs, who have been a great partner of ours.”
James has been known to have visited the park a number of times during his high school days as a star standout for Akron St. Vincent/St. Mary High School, Edwards said, and later during his years with the Cavs when he won Rookie of the Year honors, was the NBA’s MVP twice and led the team to the NBA Finals in 2007, where they lost to the San Antonio Spurs.
“Hopefully we can bring him back to the area,” Edwards said. “We hope he takes us up on this offer.”
James’ departure from the Cavs in 2010 came during a nationwide ESPN event promoted as “The Decision” in which he said he was taking “his talents to South Beach” to join the Miami Heat.
That led to bitter disappointment and anger on the part of many Cavs fans, who felt James had betrayed them and his hometown.
His possible return has been the source of wall-to-wall sports coverage for the past several weeks as James continues to talk with several teams, including Cleveland.
Should James decide to return to Northeast Ohio and the Cavaliers, Cedar Point officials will meet to decide which of its record-breaking roller coasters would be renamed in his honor.
“And we’ll gladly listen to his suggestions as well,” Edwards said. “We hope this is another way we can showcase this awesome area of the country.”
The park’s signature roller coasters Top Thrill Dragster, Millennium Force and Magnum XL-200 would appear to top the list of possible candidates to be renamed.
Twitter reaction to Cedar Point’s announcement was immediate.
@cedarpoint Which one would that be? Mean Streak maybe?
— James (@VelocityJRD) July 9, 2014
— Matteo Beechuk (@SuperChuks10) July 9, 2014
Not everyone was as enamored about the park’s promotion.
— #VoteRizzo (@swedr1) July 9, 2014
Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or firstname.lastname@example.org.