Cleveland Browns owners say FirstEnergy Stadium will undergo renovation

Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 6:18 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - As rumors have circulated about the future of FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam said Monday its staying put, and will undergo a massive renovation. 

Their announcement seems to confirm there will not be a new stadium in the suburbs or on the outskirts of downtown, and that there are no plans, as part of the renovation, to put a roof on the stadium. 

Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne, who will play an important role in the renovation, said a new stadium was not the solution.

“I think there has been a right sizing of plans relative to financing,” he said. “Cash is the driver, and a new stadium to replace this one was just going to be too expensive.”

19 News is asking questions about who will pay for the renovation: How much will the Haslams, the city and the county be funding? Could there be another source of cash?

Ronayne hinted that may be the case and said there are plans to capitalize on infrastructure money coming from Washington.

He also said the stadium, where it sits now, can work with a lakefront improvement plan.

“When you look around Browns stadium, there’s really scores of acres that are here, where we’re standing now, that can create really quality connected places to the water front,” Ronayne said.

Ronayne said the Haslams are working with Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb’s administration to ensure a renovation allows for a connection from downtown to the waterfront.

The area around the stadium, Ronayne said, should be a destination for visitors in Cleveland.