We’re talking about your money and your stadium, so we investigated.
Drive past the stadium, you might see crews changing the signs on Browns Stadium, but we looked into what happened with $10.5 million in stadium work.
Last June, Cleveland City Council approved “emergency repairs” and “capital repairs.”
So, we filed a records request asking the city which projects have been completed. The answer came back as “no records” of any of the projects being finished even after a year.
Looking at the projects approved last year, some you would notice. Others, you might not notice.
For instance, the list includes new ramps where fans walk along with other concrete repairs. Plus, work on the heating system, lighting, gutters and much more.
The I-Team findings caught the attention of Cleveland City Council President Blaine Griffin. The council approved the projects last June with money set aside for stadium work.
“Whenever we get tips like this, we like to look into it,” the council president said. “We always expect a sense of urgency whenever we pass legislation. We don’t want costs to go up. We don’t want other challenges to creep up.”
The mayor’s office did not make anyone available to explain why we found no projects finished after a year. In fact, we had sent questions to the mayor’s office for a week without getting clarification.
A note on the response to our records request says, simply, “The 2022 projects are underway but have not yet been completed.”
Again, the city has not explained what exactly that means.
Meanwhile, we spoke to season ticket holder Chris Becker. We asked how important it is to him having every project at the stadium done.
“Well, it’s really important as an old guy season ticket holder,” he said.
Becker remembers, decades ago, the Browns left town after playing in an old, run-down stadium.
“It’s really important for us as fans to make sure that the stadium is well-maintained. I mean, it is getting to be 25 years old, and even your house gets old after 25 years,” he said.
We’ve reported the Browns are studying possible significant stadium renovations. Yet, city repairs approved a year ago have not been completed.