What’s next for Browns’ stadium is ‘transformational,’ says lawmaker

(WJW) — Since their inaugural season in 1946, the Cleveland Browns have played their games on their current property along the lakefront.

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is currently weighing the options of either renovating their current stadium or build a new one in Brook Park.

State Reps. Bride Rose Sweeney and Tom Patton recently met the city of Cleveland and the Cleveland Browns in two separate meetings, to hear their preliminary plans over the last two weeks.

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“What I think my biggest takeaway I took from that meeting was how thoughtful and positive the relationship between the Browns and the city of Cleveland have,” Sweeney said. “It seems like all the different players here are really trying to work to come to the best possible scenario for the entire region.”

The city is still in the process of planning a new lakefront development project while also trying to keep the Browns in Cleveland.

“They’re doing their due diligence of trying to come up with what they believe is a competitive proposal — as they should — and making sure that makes sense for the city of Cleveland,” Sweeney added.

What are the Browns’ current plans for Brook Park and what could a renovation of the Browns’ stadium look like?

“They’re very preliminary meetings,” Sweeney said.  “We did get a general overview of what they could look like in option A and option B. Again, what I can say is that it seems both options are being taken seriously. They’re both very thoughtful in either option A or option B. At the end of the day, I think for our region, regardless of it’s A or B, that either project would be very transformational for our region and that’s very exciting.”

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No matter where the Browns go, Sweeney said the city of Cleveland will move forward with its lakefront plans.

“That is already ongoing and really independent of the decision, from my perspective,” Sweeney said. “Regardless of what happens with the Browns, we need to develop the lakefront and then also their [stadium] plans. They would love to do it all together but regardless, it was clear to me that the city of Cleveland is moving forward with developing the lakefront.”

Sweeney added it’s still too early to know how much a new stadium or renovation will cost the taxpayers.

A Browns spokesperson said the team is still in the very early stages of their Brook Park and renovation plan. At some point, they will make those plans public.

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