The Cleveland Browns stadium is in need of some pricey repairs so who will foot the bill - the fans or the city?
Councilman Michael Polensek basically called the Browns out at Monday night's city council meeting. He said since the taxpayers are paying for the stadium and the taxpayers are paying for millions of dollars worth of repairs - the Browns need to step up and give back a little more.
Thousands of seats at Browns stadium need to be fixed and all four ramps need work.
The repairs will cost $5.8 million and the city is legally obligated to pay for it, but there's one problem.
"The city doesn't have the money to spare to put into the stadium to repair it. So they will borrow it from the Browns," said Councilman Michael Polensek.
That's right, the Browns have kindly agreed to loan the city the money to fix their stadium.
And now Councilman Polensek says the city did a poor job of negotiating the contract that brought the Browns back to Cleveland.
He knows they'll have to abide by it but he thinks the Browns should be giving the city more in return.
"You have one of the most profitable franchises in the NFL. They should do more to address the issues that confront this city," said Councilman Michael Polensek.
Councilman Polensek says he was irritated by a recent Browns presentation in which they claimed to have contributed more than $225 million to the city.
"Boy that sounds like a lot of money, but they included their income tax, personal property tax, admission tax and their electric bill," said Councilman Michael Polensek.
But other council members, including Zach Reed are pledging nothing but support for the Browns.
"I'm not a huge Browns fan, but I like money, and every Sunday, I know the Browns bring money to this city," said Councilman Reed.
- Council voted and passed Ord 9-12 Cleveland Browns Stadium Capital Repairs (16 Y, 2 N, 1 absent):
- Authorizing the Director of Public Works to enter into an agreement with the Cleveland Browns concerning the making of capital repairs to the Cleveland Browns Stadium, including accepting the donation of plans and the advancement of funds from the Browns to make the repairs; determining the method of making the public improvement of constructing capital repairs to the Stadium; and authorizing the Director to enter into one or more public improvement contracts for the making of the improvement.
- The Cleveland Browns are asking for $5.8 million this year for immediate repairs (Cleveland pays $850,000 annually for capital repairs). The Browns would lend Cleveland $5.8 million at 0% interest and the city would repay the team with money generated from the sin tax (source of funding to pay for the annual $850,000 repair payment).