Nothing has been settled regarding the future of the Browns’ stadium situation, but a site in Brook Park has emerged as a potential alternative.
A purchase of the land near Cleveland Hopkins International Airport hasn’t happened but is among the options the team is considering. The lease on the lakefront expires after the 2028 season, and the team determined a while ago Cleveland Browns Stadium needs extensive renovations or to be replaced. It opened in 1999.
The site of the stadium could hinge on the city of Cleveland’s plans to develop the lakefront.
The Browns continue to work with the city, and the lakefront remains a serious option. The team has played on the shores of Lake Erie since its inception in 1946 with the exception of the three years from 1996-98 when the city didn’t have a team after it was moved to Baltimore.
A statement regarding future stadium planning.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) February 8, 2024
“We’ve been clear on how complex future stadium planning can be,” Browns/Haslam Sports Group spokesperson Peter John-Baptiste said Thursday in a statement. “One certainty is our commitment to greatly improving our fan experience while also creating a transformative and lasting impact to benefit all of Northeast Ohio. We understand the magnitude of opportunity with a stadium project intent on driving more large-scale events to our region and are methodically looking at every possibility.
“We appreciate the collaborative process with the City of Cleveland and the leadership of Mayor Bibb in analyzing the landbridge and renovating the current stadium. At the same time, as part of our comprehensive planning efforts, we are also studying other potential stadium options in Northeast Ohio at various additional sites. There is still plenty of work to do and diligence to process before a long term stadium solution is determined and will share further updates at the appropriate time.”
The statement followed a blog post from NEOtrans reporting the Haslams Sports Group, which is owned by Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam, has a contract to buy 176 acres in Brook Park. The land is a couple of miles from the team’s headquarters in Berea.
A goal of any new or renovated stadium would be to hold more premier events.
The organization’s stated preferred course of action was a massive renovation as part of a lakefront development project. But it’s encountered a series of obstacles as the team works with government leaders.
City of Cleveland chief of staff Bradford Davy released a statement in response to the one from the Browns.
“Keeping the Browns at home on the downtown Cleveland lakefront is a priority for Mayor Bibb and city leadership,” he said. “We understand and respect how complex this process is and appreciate the partnership we’ve had and will continue to have with the Browns and Haslam Sports Group (HSG).
“The administration has developed a strong, thoughtful and comprehensive package that we believe respects taxpayers and protects the city’s general revenue fund while meeting the needs expressed by the team. This has been shared with the HSG team during our extensive negotiations over the last 8 months. We continue to meet with their team to refine our terms and come to a shared vision and acceptable deal for both parties that improves the experience for residents, sports fans and visitors. … Downtown Cleveland is such an integral part of the game day experience and the transformational changes on the horizon promise to make that experience even better. Go Browns!”
Statement from City of Cleveland Chief of Staff Bradford Davy on Future Stadium Planning. pic.twitter.com/wF8uBEmeVX
— City of Cleveland (@CityofCleveland) February 8, 2024