BEREA, Ohio -- During a visit to the Cleveland Browns' training camp on Thursday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell came away impressed with the team’s shift in culture, environment, and attitude.
Since Goodell last set foot in Berea, owner Jimmy Haslam and chief executive officer Joe Banner made $5 million in renovations to the training facility in an effort to bring all of the team’s employees under one roof.
“This facility is fantastic,” Goodell told ClevelandBrowns.com. “They’ve done a lot of work. It’s spectacular, but I think that’s just a manifestation of their commitment. They want to do things right.
“They want to create an organization that this community can be proud of, and the fans can be proud of for the long term. They’re not interested in just a win here or a win there. They want to set this franchise in a positive direction, and they’ve got great people, great commitment, and they’re leading.”
Goodell was excited to see the renovated facility and updates made to the practice fields and training camp experience, especially after seeing the franchise at its lowest point. Goodell was a league-office employee in New York and made a trip to Cleveland after the team had relocated to Baltimore and became the Ravens in 1996.
“I’ll never forget pulling up to this facility in late January, early February, no one was here,” Goodell said. “Nothing was here. It was a terrible void for the NFL and void for the fans. To have this franchise back has been a great thing for this community and the NFL in general. This franchise is in a different direction, and Jimmy Haslam is committed to doing that. I think the fans should feel confident.
“The Cleveland Browns are an important part of the NFL. Probably no one knows that better than I do from my experiences here. Jimmy Haslam came into this with the mindset that he was going to do everything possible to get this franchise turned around and in a positive direction, and a team that this community would be proud of not just in any single year, but consistently create a winner.”