There could be a new stadium constructed for a popular NFL team. According to a report by NEOtrans Blog, the Cleveland Browns are looking to build a new venue over renovating their existing home, FirstEnergy Stadium. Reports indicate that the Browns and Haslam Sports are targeting two sites, likely pushing cost over $1 billion.
Peter John-Baptiste, senior vice president of communications for the Browns and Haslam Sports Group, spoke to NEOtrans in a phone interview and said the outlet was "a little too far out in front of the story," and was not ready to comment on it. However, the Browns are looking to play in a new stadium as Browns owner Dee Haslam talked about it in 2018.
"The main thing is to start the conversation, at some point," she said at the time, per the News-Herald. "I don't know that we're ready to start the conversation, but we are ready to get all the information we can about what's possible. So I think it's really important to find out what's possible.
"There could be a lot of great ideas that we might not be able to do because it's not feasible for one reason or another," Haslam said. "I don't want to get the horse in front of the cart until we're knowledgeable enough to know, because we're not informed enough to know right now. But we do know that we have a desire to make a bigger impact on the future of Cleveland."
FirstEnergy Stadium opened in 1999 when the team returned to the NFL after being away for three seasons. At that time, former Browns owner Art Modell moved the team from Cleveland to Baltimore, and that team became the Baltimore Ravens. The stadium was originally called Cleveland Browns Stadium but was renamed FirstEnergy in 2013.
"The city and The (Greater) Cleveland partnership has taken over the waterfront development piece, and we have committees working on that," Haslam said earlier this year. "Our part now is how we bring the stadium up to a better standard, so I think we've started interviewing and thinking about architects and consultants. We're kind of in that very beginning stage and can start having those conversations, and hopefully marry it with the work that the city and partnerships are doing on the waterfront development."