Cleveland Browns superfan trying to get fans to buy team
AVON LAKE, Ohio – Bryan Mitchell is a native Clevelander and a lifelong Browns fan. He created an idea that he hopes will give other Browns fans some hope for their favorite team.
According to the Huffington Post, Mitchell was near the end of a tour as a Naval Reservist in Afghanistan in the fall of 2013 when the idea hit him following another Browns loss.
Mitchell spent some time thinking it over, and two weeks after he thought of it, he put it into action.
He has hopes of making the Browns like the Green Bay Packers, which are the only publicly-owned major American sports franchise.
That’s when he launched Billion Dollar Browns on GoFundMe.
“Players come and go, coaches come and go, this team has come and gone,” Mitchell told the Huffington Post. “The only thing that remains are the fans.”
Mitchell’s goal is to have 1 million fans each donate a dollar, and once the goal is met, each person then would donate $1,000 to meet the billion dollar goal.
Shareholding fans would then elect a 13-member board to choose the team’s general manager.
Public funding for the stadium would not be accepted and shares wouldn’t pay dividends. The only goal would be winning.
So far, less than $400 has been raised, but Mitchell said he will donate the money to Cleveland charities if the goal isn’t met.
Forbes estimates the Browns to be valued at about $1.12 billion and facing off with the NFL to buy the team wouldn’t be an easy challenge.
“The NFL would have to look,” he said. “If fans can raise $1 billion, they’d have to acknowledge our passion.”