FirstEnergy Stadium has been a busy place the past two weeks, playing host to the shooting of a Cleveland Browns-themed movie, “Draft Day.”
It’s about to get even busier.
The U.S. men’s soccer team is scheduled to play there Wednesday night. And it was announced Tuesday that the stadium will also be the site of Bon Jovi’s “Because We Can” tour stop on July 14.
“It’s a great opportunity to showcase the city and show why we’re all so proud of being here,” Browns chief executive officer Joe Banner said. “We’ve got the U.S. men’s soccer team playing here (Wednesday) night and this great event as well. We really feel there’s a lot of things happening around the franchise, a lot of energy, excitement, a lot of opportunities for the city and our fans to get some enjoyment and have some fun.”
The Bon Jovi concert is one of many events planned for July 14.
The Browns will host a fan fest at FirstEnergy Stadium beginning at 4 p.m., and local rock-n-roll legend Michael Stanley and The Resonators will serve as Bon Jovi’s opening act.
“This is the type of event that we’re hoping is reflective of the type of organization we’re going to be, and we’re getting a good chance to bring in some high-quality entertainment with some real high-quality people, enjoyment for the fans and the city and a good showcase for it and to kick off our season in a way that’s untraditional and create some vibrancy and energy around that,” Banner said.
Several Browns players, including quarterback
“This is a great opportunity for this town to bring in a marquee guy like (Bon Jovi and Stanley) into this town to raise excitement for this season,” Weeden said. “It’s what it’s all about. We’re all excited about what we’re putting out on the field. We’re working our tails off and putting in all the effort we need to get better. This is a great way to start the 2013 season off on a great note.”
Jackson added, “It’s very exciting. It shows you the direction that the organization is moving. They’re putting out good things for the fan experience, and making sure that’s a priority, and also, taking care of the players in the same sense. Just for the city of Cleveland, it’s actually great that they’re taking care of the community, and once the season comes around, the players have to do their part. With everything going as well as they have, I’m excited about this year, and I’m excited for what’s going on. It just adds more fuel to the fire.
“It’s not just about the die-hard Browns fans showing up each and every game. Now, Bon Jovi is coming to town. The U.S. soccer team is here, so it’s actually bringing the fans out more, not just for football. When you’re able to do that, and you’re able to draw more fans to your stadium, it fuels the players. You appreciate it and it lets you know what type of organization we have. It’s a first-class organization that wants to do things.”