2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Browns reveal proposal to upgrade stadium

    2013-11-14 02:33

(Eds: With AP Photos.)
By TOM WITHERS
AP Sports Writer

CLEVELAND (AP) - They've boosted their reputation and improved their record.

Now the Browns want to upgrade their stadium.

Days away from playing their biggest game in years, the NFL team unveiled plans Wednesday to modernize FirstEnergy Stadium with a two-year, $120 million renovation project.

Browns CEO Joe Banner said the club will present its proposal, which includes the installation of new, high-definition video scoreboards, escalators and a reduction of 3,000 seats, to the city's planning commission on Thursday. The Browns also will meet with Mayor Frank Jackson and city officials about approval and funding for the project.

Banner wouldn't reveal who would be paying for the endeavor, but promised the Browns ''will make a significant investment.'' The NFL recently approved a $62.5 million loan to the team to be used toward stadium improvements and Banner said all of that money will be applied toward the plan.

It's apparent the Browns will ask the city for some money, but how much is unknown.

''We have to do this together,'' Banner said. ''Obviously, the planning commission and a number of agencies in the city would have to be in line and approving this project for it to happen economics aside, and obviously economics aren't an aside, so there is nothing that can happen to the stadium without the city feeling positive.''

The Browns unveiled plans for the stadium makeover - to take place over the next two offseasons - at a splashy news conference attended by some season-ticket holders and fans. With Banner, owner Jimmy Haslam and president Alec Scheiner sitting on stage, video highlights of this season's first nine weeks were shown before renderings of the revamped stadium were presented to the audience.

Banner said there are no plans to put a dome or roof on the stadium because it would require a nine-figure investment. Also, the Browns will continue to play on a grass field rather than switch to a synthetic surface.

Banner said the Browns had internal discussions about building a new stadium, but opted to make enhancements and improvements to the 15-year-old facility, which was built with taxpayer money when Cleveland was awarded an expansion franchise in 1998.

Although the seating capacity will drop from 71,000 to 68,000, the lower bowl will be reconfigured with more seats, giving fans better sightlines of the field. The exterior also will receive a face-lift, escalators will be added to aid fan movement between levels and concessions will be improved.

The stadium improvement would continue Haslam's plan to overhaul a franchise that has never made the Super Bowl and last won an NFL title in 1964. The team spent $5 million refurbishing its headquarters and training facility in Berea this summer, and Haslam feels this stadium overhaul is a logical next step.

''It's all part of creating a world-class organization,'' Haslam said. ''We're giving our fans a great place to watch football. We're going to have a place that's dramatically different.''

Banner said the team hopes a renovated stadium would attract other major events, including concerts and soccer games.

''We have had discussions with people,'' Banner said. ''We've started to talk to some of the people in the concert and soccer world and some of those events just to build on relationship. We've tried to build and get them enthused about Cleveland as a marketplace and we talked to them a little bit about the renovation. We're very hopeful that that will be one of the outcomes.''

The announcement of the team's off-field plans coincide with the Browns (4-5) preparing for Sunday's game at Cincinnati against the first-place Bengals (6-4). It's Cleveland's most important game since 2007, when the Browns finished 10-6 and just missed the playoffs.

Haslam has enjoyed watching the Browns' on-field improvements.

''It's exciting and rewarding,'' he said. ''To be playing games that count this late in the season, this deep into November, I think is very meaningful and to see the excitement in Northeastern Ohio with our Browns fans is phenomenal.''

Banner, too, has been impressed by the team's rise under first-year coach Rob Chudzinski, who navigated the Browns through a turbulent start to the season, which has included using three quarterbacks, the trade of running back Trent Richardson and numerous injuries.

''I'd be hard-pressed to think that in nine weeks a first-time head coach can do any better or any more than he's doing,'' Banner said. ''All of the measurables that you'd look to come up with, if you even wanted to create a yardstick of measuring at this moment, I just think he's doing an outstanding job.''

NOTES: Browns QB Jason Campbell said his bruised ribs are fine and he won't wear any extra protection or padding against the Bengals. ... Banner said Haslam's continued legal issues - he's under federal investigation for fraud at his Pilot Flying J truck-stop company - have not hindered the Browns from doing business. ''From the beginning, I've said we've been able to do anything and everything we've intended to do with the Browns,'' he said. ''It's had no impact. It will have no impact and I think we're proving that as we do different things, including what we announced today, to be the truth.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Charles ClayNov 21 05:52p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) did not practice Friday, Nov. 21, and he is doubtful for Week 12 against the Denver Broncos. Clay suffered a setback in practice [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 21 05:32p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) did not practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is questionable for Week 12 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Head coach Bill O'Brien said Foster would [ More ]

Jason AvantNov 21 04:52p

The Kansas City Chiefs will sign free-agent WR Jason Avant (Panthers), according to a source. Avant worked out for the team Friday, Nov. 21.

Delanie WalkerNov 21 03:32p

Updating a previous report, Tennessee Titans TE Delanie Walker (concussion) fully participated in practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is listed as probable for Week 12.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 21 03:12p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) is considered a game-time decision for Week 12, according to head coach Bruce Arians.

Adrian PetersonNov 21 03:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's appeal hearing is scheduled to occur Dec. 2, and commissioner Roger Goodell will not be in charge of the hearing. Former NFL employee Harold [ More ]

Larry FitzgeraldNov 21 02:22p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) was not participating during the media-access portion of practice Friday, Nov. 21. Fitzgerald was working on the side during that part of practice.

Delanie WalkerNov 21 02:22p

Tennessee Titans TE Delanie Walker (concussion) has passed his concussion test and is good to go in Week 12 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Giovani BernardNov 21 02:12p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, clavicle) fully participated in practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is probable for Week 12.

Julius ThomasNov 21 02:12p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) is listed as questionable for Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins after putting in a limited practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Emmanuel SandersNov 21 02:02p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) practiced in full Friday, Nov. 21, and is probable for Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins, according to head coach John Fox.

Julius ThomasNov 21 01:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle), who appeared limited during practice Friday, Nov. 21, figures to be a game-time decision against the Miami Dolphins in Week 12. Thomas said [ More ]

Dwayne AllenNov 21 01:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 12 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Jonas GrayNov 21 01:22p

New England Patriots RB Jonas Gray (undisclosed) was a no-show at practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Jordan ReedNov 21 01:12p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) missed his third straight day of practice Friday, Nov. 21, and head coach Jay Gruden said Reed has been ruled out for Week [ More ]

Emmanuel SandersNov 21 01:12p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) is participating in practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Adrian PetersonNov 21 11:02a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson said he'll gladly return this season if he wins the appeal of his indefinite suspension. If he loses his appeal and has to sit [ More ]

Latavius MurrayNov 21 10:32a

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) has earned himself a larger role in the offense, according to interim head coach Tony Sparano. His concussion, obviously, will dictate when that [ More ]

LeGarrette BlountNov 21 10:32a

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount was not signed by the team to replace RB Jonas Gray as the between-the-tackles runner. Blount's presence gives the team another tough inside [ More ]

Jeremy HillNov 21 10:02a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill will be the leader in a 65-35 split of the carries with RB Giovani Bernard in Week 12, in the opinion of beat writer Paul Dehner Jr.

Emmanuel SandersNov 20 07:42p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) has done conditioning work and will be evaluated again Friday, Nov. 21.

Eric KushNov 20 07:03p

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared WR A.J. Jenkins, QB Aaron Murray, CB Christopher Owens, WR Donnie Avery, C Eric Kush, CB Jamell Fleming, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif inactive for Week 12.

Matt McGloinNov 20 07:03p

The Oakland Raiders have declared CB Carlos Rogers, TE David Ausberry, OG Gabe Jackson, SS Jonathan Dowling, QB Matt McGloin, OG Tony Bergstrom, CB Travis Carrie inactive for Week 12.

Charles ClayNov 20 06:42p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) did not practice Thursday, Nov. 20, after being limited Wednesday, Nov. 19.

Tauren PooleNov 20 06:42p

The New Orleans Saints released RB Tauren Poole Thursday, Nov. 20.

Jordan CameronNov 20 06:12p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

Arian FosterNov 20 05:52p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) did not practice Thursday, Nov. 20, after being limited the previous day.

Pierre ThomasNov 20 05:42p

New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas (rib, shoulder) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 20. Thomas has missed the last four games, but he said there's a chance that [ More ]

Jerick McKinnonNov 20 05:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 20.

Jimmy SmithNov 20 04:32p

Baltimore Ravens CB Jimmy Smith (foot) said Thursday, Nov. 20, that a Lisfranc injury is the reason he is out for the rest of the season.

Montee BallNov 20 04:22p

Denver Broncos RBs Montee Ball (groin) and Ronnie Hillman (foot) both did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

Ronnie HillmanNov 20 04:22p

Denver Broncos RBs Montee Ball (groin) and Ronnie Hillman (foot) both did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group