Stadium Renovations: Who Will Pay Up?

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CLEVELAND-- While the Cleveland Browns have announced they are looking to spend millions of dollars to make stadium design improvements, they haven’t said what exactly will be done, or if they plan to foot the entire bill.

Browns CEO Joe Banner has said the process is in the early stages so it would be premature to discuss financial arrangements.

Ken Silliman, Chief of Staff for Mayor Frank Jackson, said the city has had discussions with the Browns regarding capital repairs, but to date, the parties haven’t identified specific repairs or cost estimates.

Councilman Zack Reed thinks it’s a good idea that renovations are made and would not be surprised if the team asks the city to pay a portion.

“I’ve been in this business long enough to know, they are probably going to come to us. If they don’t ask us up front, then they will down the road,” Reed said. “The way the contract is, we have handle maintenance of it.”

Reed and other city officials said there are capital needs at all the professional sports facilities in Cleveland and that’s why there will soon be discussions of a sin tax extension.

The sin tax is an extra tax on alcohol and cigarettes, and it will expire in 2015.

Fans downtown seemed to be mixed on whether or not they want the sin tax to be extended.

“No,” said Alan Yax, of Cleveland. “I just don't think the burden should be carried by the few for their benefit.”

But Michael DuBose disagrees.

“I’m in favor of the sin tax if you smoke cigarettes, or drink, hell, I mean let's get a dome on the stadium,” DuBose said.