CLEVELAND -- The City of Cleveland gave the Cleveland Browns $5.8 million for stadium repairs this offseason, and the deadline for completion is up.
The goal was to finish in time for Sunday’s Kenny Chesney concert at Browns stadium. Construction crews are proud to say, the task is complete. Platform Construction’s General Superintendent Chris Jensen is thrilled.
“It feels great,” Jensen said. “Most jobs have their deadlines to meet, but this one here had a concrete wall deadline to meet.”
The stadium takes a lot of abuse being on Lake Erie and the concrete was beginning to crack. When water leaked into the cracks and froze, it expanded causing more damage. Jensen said that was just one of many problems.
“A lot of concrete restoration,” Jensen said. “Removal and demolition of some of the landings in the stadium…replaced that with the metal decking and the concrete. A lot of the seat removal in the 300 series, in the stadium, got removed, refurbished, and replaced.”
The pressure was high to finish before the start of Browns preseason on September 9, but the pressure was even higher to finish before Sunday’s concert. The concert begins at 4:30 p.m. and goes through the night. A large crowd is expected.
“It was definitely on the forefront of our minds,” Jensen said.
In addition to the stadium repairs, the facility will have a new look inside, as well. Three of Cleveland’s greatest chefs will open food stands inside of the club levels in time for Sunday’s concert. Rocco Whalen’s Rosie and Rocco’s, Michael Symon’s B-Spot, and Jonathon Sawyer’s Greenhouse Tavern and Noodlecat restaurants will debut together. Whalen says he is proud of the new addition.
“This is really something that you don’t find in any other stadium,” he said. “It’s a chance to bring better food, better amenities, to hopefully a better team this time around.”
Whalen has restaurants in the new Horseshoe Casino and at Quicken Loans Arena. He says he is team Cleveland all the way.
“I’m blessed to be a part of this city, creating local jobs for the city,” Whalen said. “If you cut me, I bleed orange and brown. If you cut me, I bleed gold and wine. I am just a sports fanatic and also a Clevelander.”
The food will be available on Sunday for the concert. All three menus are also available for special event catering and will be available in the suites.