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Berea homeowners fear houses will be torn down for Browns practice field

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 5:55 PM EDT
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BEREA, Ohio (WOIO) - A gridiron battle not on the football field but about the football field.

Local residents and a church bumping up against the Cleveland Browns practice field in Berea.

The team wants to expand the practice facility, but homeowners are frustrated.

Some say they won’t go down without a fight.

“It is very frustrating,” said Tina Byers.

Tina Byers lives along Pearl St. in Berea.

Her home backs right up against the Browns practice field.

She fears one day her home will be among several that will be torn down to make more room for an expanded Browns practice facility.

“We took care of our homes. Some the houses we’re kind of run-down but not all of them,” said Byers.

The demolition includes homes along Pearl Street, Second Avenue, Beech Street, and a former church.

We’re told the Browns organization paid for relocation and construction of a new Mt. Zion Baptist Church building.

The plan received initial approval from the city Wednesday night.

“Well, it makes me feel kind of sad actually because I was born and raised here. The home I live in right across the street here, it was my grandparents’ home,” said Byers.

Martha Naylor fears her house is next to get ripped down.

“They said in a couple years they want my house also. Maybe before then, I don’t know. I am retired and social security and I can’t afford to go nowhere else,” said Naylor.

19 News confirmed the plan is to demolish these homes, clean up, and plant grass.

In the meantime, Tina says she’s not going anywhere.

“Right now it stands that I’m here. And I’m going to be here until I’m ready to talk,” said Byers.

The Cleveland Browns tell 19 News it is part of their strategic plan for their practice facility to continue providing players and fans with first-class resources in all aspects of football and business operations. They say they’re being respectful and mindful as they work with these homeowners and local officials.

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