Report: Cleveland Browns studying development including new stadium

CLEVELAND– The Cleveland Browns have started examining the possibility of a downtown development project that could include a new stadium, ESPN reported on Thursday.

The project, which could take more than a decade to complete, comes from team’s desire to become a bigger part of Cleveland’s revitalization.

“We’re excited for the opportunity to be part of the conversation about downtown re-development,” Browns owner Dee Haslam told ESPN. “We should be part of the conversation in a bigger way, and I think we will be.”

The first major step towards the development project is an economic impact study with Cleveland State University.

The team is also considering extensive renovations to FirstEnergy Stadium, according to the ESPN report.

A Browns spokesman released the following statement on the issue Thursday afternoon:

“It is one of our top priorities to identify opportunities where we can positively impact Northeast Ohio, and we recognize that we must be forward thinking when considering potential ways to achieve that goal. We are acutely aware of the previous and ongoing discussions related to potential lakefront development, and we feel it is our civic responsibility to help identify productive solutions for the future of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. We have just begun this process and will continue to engage in constructive dialogue with the leaders in Northeast Ohio while collaborating to determine the best options moving forward.”

In 2015, the Browns completed $125 million in renovations to their home since 1999. As part of that, they installed new video boards at each end of the stadium and added seating to the lower bowl. The Browns lease of FirstEnergy Stadium runs through 2029.

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