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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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July 14th, 2014
05:27 PM ET

Does Cleveland, in fact, rock?

(CNN) – Turns out "The Drew Carey Show" was right all along, "Cleveland rocks, Cleveland rocks!"

For those keeping score at home, the city named after Gen. Moses Cleveland is winning big, and that could mean big bucks.

After a stint in slightly-more-glamorous Miami, Florida, basketball's best LeBron James is coming back to the Cleveland Cavilers, because, he says, he missed his hardscrabble hometown.

"This could be the first chance we get a championship in over 50 years," one fan told local CNN affiliate WEWS.

But along with that championship ring, could Cleveland also get a shiny new economy?

"For the basketball team the Cleveland Cavaliers, getting LeBron is a gigantic windfall," said Dan Rosenheck, sports editor at The Economist.

"LeBron is very big business, and basketball is very big business," said Rosenheck. "But Cleveland is also a pretty big town.  ... The city's economy is as big as the country of Hungary, so trying to find the impact of one player in that is a needle in a haystack."

The Cavs aren't the only sports team giving the city a boost, Johnny Manziel now calls Cleveland home.

The beleaguered Browns snagged the Heisman trophy winner in the NFL draft, instantly making Cleveland one of the most exciting football cities to watch this fall.

And the big LeBron news last week came on the heels of massive political win for the city, Cleveland will host the 2016 Republican National Convention.

"Cleveland's on the upswing just like the Republican party needs to be on the upswing, and I think it makes it a more inclusive convention almost by location," said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio.

If these hopeful predictions prove true, that will be welcome news for the town perhaps best known for its river catching fire, and a football franchise sneaking out of town in the dead of night.

It wasn't so long ago that a spoof tourism video by local comedian Mike Polk, Jr., rang all too true in the city critics call the "mistake by the lake."

Economist Ned Hill says the $1 billion Cleveland has invested over the past three decades is finally paying off.

"This is a wonderful week where Cleveland is an overnight sensation 30 years in the making," said Hill.

"Being in a position so that we're actually competitive for the convention, which we weren't 10 years ago, is a marker of progress," he said.

It is looking like a big win for the city fighting its way back.

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