The Cleveland Browns said they remain focused on renovating their current stadium amid reports of them looking to build a new venue.
Ken Prendergast of NEOtrans reported that Haslam Sports Group located two sites for a new stadium that would likely cost more than $1 billion. The story claimed that the Haslams were not pleased with the condition of the "poorly built" FirstEnergy Stadium, which opened when Cleveland re-joined the NFL in 1999.
Courtesy of the Akron Beacon Journal's Nate Ulrich (h/t Pro Football Talk's Michael David Smith), Senior Vice President Peter John-Baptiste said they're still aiming to revamp FirstEnergy Stadium.
"As we have consistently communicated, along with the City of Cleveland, the Greater Cleveland Partnership and other prominent local organizations, we have been immersed in discussing ways to best approach the lakefront’s future and the stadium naturally is a critical piece to the long-term execution of such a project,” John-Baptiste said. “Contrary to recent speculation, a recent feasibility study we launched does not contemplate a new stadium or showcase new stadium sites. A significant stadium renovation at our current site is the premise of the study as well as a focus on how to provide accessibility to the lakefront, drive density and create 365-destination major development opportunities that would include new public parks, retail, office, experiential and residential spaces."
John-Baptiste added that the study is expected to be completed in 2023, and they do not have any cost estimations for the renovation project.
"The future of the stadium is one of several important pieces to the long-term execution of the lakefront project, and our organization looks forward to continuing to work with our community partners and leaders to identify next steps and our role in helping advance this initiative," the statement concluded.
According to Prendergast, the Browns want a retractable roof or dome to host year-round events beyond football. Their current lease at the city-owned stadium ends in 2028.