Browns’ Owner Is Playing The Stadium Game

Cleveland Briwns stadium

Jimmy Haslam is reviewing two options.

The National Football League’s Cleveland Browns franchise owner Jimmy Haslam has two options for his stadium upgrade. Either renovate the present stadium next to Lake Erie or build a domed stadium in Brook Park, Ohio. Haslam’s present 25-year-old stadium was built after then Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell took his version of the Cleveland Browns NFL franchise to Baltimore in 1995. Local Cleveland area politicians quickly cut a deal with the NFL with the promise of the NFL returning to Cleveland after a new stadium was built. The second version of the Cleveland Browns franchise took to the field in 1999. The stadium cost local taxpayers around $283 million. The renovation of the present stadium could cost $1 billion while a Brook Park domed stadium could cost $2 billion. Haslam may want as much as a half billion dollars in public funding from Cleveland to rebuild the present stadium. Haslam might pay up to a billion dollars on a Brook Park facility but would need the rest of the money from local, regional and state taxpayers.

Haslam is not certain which road he will pursue. “I think it’s fair to say that in all likelihood we’re either going to remodel on the lakefront with an extensive remodel or build a new stadium, which would be a dome. Because if we did go the dome route, I’m not saying we’re doing that vs. remodeling where we are now, it could be used more than 12 times a year.” Haslam claimed that he will not be moving out of northeast Ohio. The 176-acre Brook Park property used to host two Ford automobile plants. Haslam has not purchased that property but the parcel is available. The Brook Park project would include a stadium with retail, residential and office space. The Cleveland stadium game has begun.

Jimmy and Dee Hslam, Cleveland Browns owners

Jimmy and Dee Haslam, the Browns’ owners.

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