“We are dedicated to creating the best experience in the NFL both on the field and through every connection we have with our deserving fans and the City of Cleveland,” said Owner Jimmy Haslam. “Many of the improvements in the Phase II modernization are a direct result of continuing to listen to our fans and creating a more enjoyable and memorable environment throughout FirstEnergy Stadium.”
“The elements we installed during Phase I of the modernization project significantly impacted the Dawg Pound's experience at FirstEnergy Stadium, as well as our team's home-field advantage in 2014,” said Scheiner. “We are eager to make these additional design improvements and reward our fans and Cleveland with a premier NFL stadium and experience.”
The Browns' mission through the two-year FirstEnergy Stadium renovation is to provide the Dawg Pound an enhanced in-game experience, while also improving the team's home-field advantage, bolstered by the NFL's most loyal and passionate fan base.
In 2015, the modernization will revitalize the look and feel of the stadium's external and internal features, creating a vibrant environment that highlights Cleveland and the Browns' illustrious history. In addition to upgrading lighting, signage and way-finding throughout the concourses, high-definition graphics inside and outside the stadium will depict current players, Browns legends and the Dawg Pound, the best fans in the league.
During Phase II, the Browns will increase the availability of Cleveland chef partner options and general concessions, focusing on Cleveland tastes, for all fans. Renovated dining locations and upgraded food and beverage amenities will be incorporated, including new concepts and offerings, in addition to modernized facades, signage, menu boards and way-finding throughout the stadium. All 35 permanent concession stands will be remodeled.
In an effort to further highlight the team's connection to Cleveland and its thriving food scene, Michael Symon's B Spot, Rocco Whalen's Great Lakes Cheesesteaks, Jonathon Sawyer's Sausage and Peppers and Chris Hodgson's Downtown Dogs will be featured in the 100 and 500 levels in 2015.
The Browns began their food and beverage transformation through an expanded partnership with Aramark, which in 2014 became FirstEnergy Stadium's general concessionaire after serving as the facility's premium dining and catering company since 2012. During Phase I, the team incorporated menu items from many of Cleveland's award-winning chefs that previously were only available in premium areas. The first stage of the renovation created new stands in general concession locations, highlighted by Symon's B Spot in the west end zone and a new concept from Whalen, Great Lakes Cheesesteaks, in the east end zone.
In the second phase, the team will also modernize premium areas, including upgrading all club seats and suites, while adding more top-level entertainment areas. A field-level hospitality location will be added opposite of the Browns' locker room, while the Grille Club, north and south clubs and upper- and lower-level suites will be restructured and refurbished, with every facet of each area receiving fresh upgrades.
During one of the NFL's most extensive construction projects to take place over one offseason, the Browns in Phase I erected two new Daktronics video boards nearly triple the size of the old units; added modernized LED monitors and ribbon boards; installed a state-of-the-art audio system; increased the lower-bowl seating capacity to improve sightlines; created fan decks to engage the Dawg Pound; and improved ingress and egress by implementing two new escalators in each end zone.
The Browns finished 4-4 in Cleveland in 2014, tied for the second-most wins in a year since FirstEnergy Stadium opened in 1999.
Last season, the Browns also launched Dawg Pound Drive on Alfred Lerner Way, a new fan amenity comprised of a 900-foot pregame space outside of FirstEnergy Stadium's south gates. On average, more than 12,500 Browns fans visited the area for Browns alumni autographs; a zip line and rock climbing wall; concerts with local bands and disc jockeys on stage; the Browns First and Ten tent; entertaining games, including kid inflatables, oversized cornhole and a video game truck; Browns merchandise stands; a beer garden; food trucks and additional dining and beverage specials.