Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert used Twitter on Thursday to assure fans he would not move the franchise out of Cleveland in the wake of him killing a $140 million renovation of Quicken Loans Arena.

That was part of the speculation Monday when Gilbert backed out of his commitment to split the cost of the Q “Transformation,” the project quashed by a delay over a proposed city referendum.

The Cavs’ lease on the arena expires in 2027, but would have been extended until 2034 as part of the now-dead deal. Traumatized by the Browns’ move to Baltimore after the 1995 season when then-owner Art Modell couldn’t get a new stadium approved, Northeast Ohioans feared the worst.

“CLE, Let’s put any silly rumors to rest: I will never move the Cleveland Cavaliers out of Cleveland. Period. And that’s unconditional,” Gilbert tweeted.

As assertive as that message was, Gilbert did not rule out a sale of the team in the coming years.

The project for the 22-year-old facility was announced in December, but immediately sparked debate over the whether the city’s $70 million investment would be better spent elsewhere. The Q, which opened in 1994, is the oldest arena in the league without a major structural renovation, according to an email from Quicken Loans Arena.

Marla Ridenour can be reached at mridenour@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Cavs blog at www.ohio.com/cavs. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MRidenourABJ.