BEREA, Ohio — Are the Cleveland Browns taking their show on the road?!
That’s the kind of question that can make fans nervous, but the latest news from Berea isn’t about the team. It’s concerning the location of training camp.
Each summer, the Browns open up the training facility to the public as the athletes get acclimated with one another and the coaches evaluate their performance and set the roster.
But Wednesday, Jimmy Haslam let it be known that camp will stay in Berea in 2015, but potentially move to Columbus in 2016.
The Browns aren’t officially commenting on the possible relocation of camp, but Berea Mayor Cyril Kleem says it wasn’t entirely unexpected.
He says other teams train in different cities and states, and even the Browns trained in other communities before the Berea facility was built.
And he points out that at least a dozen teams that he’s aware of train in different cities and even other states.
“I’d love to have them here, but it’s really not a devastating scenario for us,” said Kleem. “Because training camp is such a short time and of the $3 million the Browns pay us in income tax, the loss of training camp would be about $40,000, and that doesn’t include our costs to help administer camp.”
Some businesses could also take a financial hit, because training camp draws thousands of people to Berea each summer.
From restaurants to T-shirt vendors and bars, some business owners say they could lose a little money in the move.
But Devin Pethtel, owner of Scoundrals’ Bar and Grill, says he also understands the decision.
“I do see it as a positive for the team,” said Pethtel, “As far as players need to focus and hopefully in turn we see results from that.”
Some Browns Backers, however, don’t support the relocation of training camp.
Paul Latkovic, president of the Berea Browns Backers, says it will break tradition and make attending camp difficult for fans; especially diehard fans who like to go to camp every day.