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The Cleveland Browns aren’t looking to build a new stadium after all.
The franchise disputed reports to the contrary Monday, instead saying it is looking to make "significant" renovations to FirstEnergy Stadium.
The Browns have launched a study to determine how to make “significant stadium renovation at our current site” alongside Lake Erie, team spokesman Peter John-Baptiste said in a statement Monday. The study is expected to be completed next year.
“The future of the stadium is one of several important pieces to the long-term execution of the lakefront project, and our organization looks forward to continuing to work with our community partners and leaders to identify next steps and our role in helping advance this initiative,” John-Baptiste said, in part.
— Nate Ulrich (@ByNateUlrich) June 20, 2022
FirstEnergy Stadium is one of the older NFL venues. The Browns have played there since they returned to the league in 1999, the first season back after leaving Cleveland Stadium amid its relocation to Baltimore. The stadium cost $283 million, and it’s now the 12th-oldest in the league.
Reports surfaced in recent days claiming that the Browns were looking to build a new stadium that cost up to $1 billion, potentially with a roof. The goal was to build the venue in the similar area, part of a larger project, along Lake Erie, which John-Baptiste said will include new parks, retail, office and residential buildings.
Now it seems the team is sticking with FirstEnergy Stadium. It’s unclear what such a renovation will cost. The Tennessee Titans are currently considering a new stadium in Nashville, as Nissan Stadium also opened in 1999. According to Sports Business Journal, it would cost about $1.8 billion to renovate it, and up to $2.2 billion with a roof.
By comparison, SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles cost more than $5 billion and Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas nearly $2 billion. The Buffalo Bills reached a deal to build a new $1.4 billion stadium earlier this year.
The Browns’ current lease runs through 2028.