The Cleveland City Council has approved the financing plan for renovations at FirstEnergy Stadium that had previously been agreed upon by the Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, the team and city announced after the Council voted on the matter Monday evening.
“We respect the process we went through with City Council and Mayor Jackson and appreciate their support for this project,” Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said in a joint statement released by the team and city. “We look forward to moving ahead with the renovation of FirstEnergy Stadium. We know it will positively impact our fans’ experience and our community will be proud to showcase the transformed home of the Browns for the rest of the country.”
Under the agreement, the Browns will pay for the entire two-year, $120 million renovation project up front and then, receive $2 million from the city of Cleveland each year over the next 15 years in accordance with obligations under the lease.
“I’d like to thank Cleveland City Council for voting to approve the city’s contributions to the renovations of one of the city’s most valuable assets -- FirstEnergy Stadium,” Mayor Jackson said. “I’d also like to thank Jimmy Haslam and the Cleveland Browns for the significant investment they will make in our stadium. This type of private investment in our city is essential to our continued success.”
In phase one, the Browns will upgrade the video and audio presentation in the stadium with new LED video boards in each end zone that are triple the size of the current boards and closer to the field. The audio system will be significantly improved.
Also, during the first phase, the Browns will increase the seating capacity within the lower bowl of the stadium to give fans better views of the field and an increased home-field advantage for the team to enjoy on game day. The Browns will install new escalators in each end zone that will allow fans to conveniently move between the stadium’s five levels.
In the second phase, the Browns will work on general admission and concession-area concerns, as well as upgrades to the club and suite-level seating.
The renovations will begin at FirstEnergy Stadium after the final home game of the 2013 regular season.
Click here (http://www.firstenergystadiumproject.com/) for more information about the FirstEnergy Stadium modernization project.