As expected, Jimmy Haslam is bringing change to the Cleveland Browns.
Haslam and CEO Joe Banner unveiled plans for a two-year, $120 million plan to upgrade FirstEnergy Stadium on Nov. 13. Last Tuesday, the Browns reached a deal with Cleveland mayor Frank Jackson to fund the makeover.
The agreement calls for the Browns to shoulder the cost of the project while recouping $42 million from the city. The Browns plan to take out a $62.5 million loan from the NFL.
The renovations include the installation of high-definition video scoreboards that are approximately three times the size of the ones currently in use; a new audio system; the reduction of 3,000 seats to reconfigure the lower bowl; additional escalators; a “face-lift” for the outside of the stadium; upgraded club seats; and improved concessions.
The “Modernization Project” has been met with excitement by fans who feel the renovations are much needed, and I have to agree. I’m a little uneasy about the cost to the city, but there’s no doubt the stadium desperately needs the additional escalators if nothing else.
Unfortunately, Banner shot down my biggest hope when he said there are no plans to put a dome on the stadium. Considering I will be at the game tomorrow in 28 degrees and snow, I would gladly trade the high-definition scoreboards for a roof!