INDIANAPOLIS -- The Browns might be five hours from their home field at Cleveland Browns Stadium, but they had a nice welcome waiting for them at the team hotel in Indianapolis.
The Central Indiana Browns Backers Association arranged a welcome party for the team and also a Backer Bash party at Scotty’s Brewhouse in downtown Indianapolis Saturday night. Former Browns Hanford Dixon and Kevin Mack made the trip to Indianapolis for the Backer Bash and spent the evening posing for photos, signing autographs and reminiscing about their playing days.
“I’ve been club president probably three or four years and each year, they give us a survey that says, ‘What would you like to see us do?’” said Sandi Robeson president of the Central Indiana Browns Backers Association. “I’ve said every year, ‘We want to see more activity from the Browns so they know we’re out here.’ We have a bus trip, but there are 15 other games that we gather 75 people easy every week to sit and watch the game together. They responded by saying, ‘We’d like to bring some alumni out.’ I’m not going to say, ‘No’ to that. We didn’t even care who. Our fans have a connection to the players.”
Saturday’s Backer Bash was one of the many road parties the fans will hold this season. There will be Backer Bashes in San Francisco, Houston, Cincinnati, Arizona and Pittsburgh.
“We’re really trying to create the Cleveland experience this year by bringing our Backer Bashes on the road,” said Kelly Carroll, manager, Browns Backers Global. “We’re just promoting Browns spirit on the road and this was a really great turnout for the first road trip.”
The team truly appreciated the fans’ support after arriving in Indianapolis.
“So far, the Browns fans have outnumbered the Colts fans on the streets,” Carroll said. “To see this much support on the road, there are people who travelled here from Southern California, Nebraska, Florida, Cleveland. Everyone’s here and we’re just really well-represented. It’s really cool to have a fan-base like that, that’s so strong, to come out and support the team wherever we are. We’re happy to host parties and get fans together no matter where we are.”
In addition to displaying their passion for football, the Central Indiana Browns Backers members also showed a connection to the community.
Through a raffle for autographed photos and other Browns prizes, the club raised more than $800 for the Indiana State Fair Remembrance Fund. The Fund was set up after a thunderstorm caused a stage to collapse just prior to a country music concert earlier this year. The collapse claimed the lives of five people and injured 45 others.
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