The Cleveland Browns have initiated and developed a two-year FirstEnergy Stadium modernization project, proposed for completion during the next two offseasons, the team announced Wednesday. The Browns are looking forward to working with Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, the Cleveland City Council and the Design Review Advisory Committee, hoping the city shares in the team’s enthusiasm.
“We have consistently communicated that two of our primary areas of focus are winning as many games as possible and creating the best fan experience in the NFL,” said Browns Owner Jimmy Haslam. “We have engaged our fans, asked for their thoughts, and responded to their ideas and concerns. This modernization plan is a result of our desire to invest in creating the best environment for them and our players.”
During the first year of the proposed modernization, the Browns would install two new video boards nearly triple the size of the boards currently in each end zone, moving them closer to the fans. Throughout the stadium, the plan also calls for LED video boards, which would feature stats, scores and information, and installation of an entirely new audio system, delivering crisper, clearer audio everywhere in the facility.
In 2014, the project would also increase the lower bowl’s seating capacity while improving sightlines. Many Browns fans would be closer to the field and observe dramatically better views of the game, fostering a more intimate environment while enhancing the team’s home-field advantage.
Easing in-stadium access for fans is another priority in the plan’s initial stage. Two new escalators would be installed in both the north and south end zones to ensure the most fluid, convenient movement in and between stadium levels. At the end of the proposed project, there would be 12 escalators providing access to stadium levels.
“The Browns are proud and excited to reward their fans, their team, and Northeast Ohio with this two-year modernization proposal,” conveyed Browns CEO Joe Banner. “The Browns and the City of Cleveland have created a very positive working relationship on the design concepts of FirstEnergy Stadium, and we will continue to work together to establish a productive agreement.”
In 2015, the Browns are hoping to improve general-admission concession areas, boasting revamped and unique locally based offerings. Additionally, the second phase would modernize premium areas, including upgrading club seats and suites, while adding more top-level entertainment areas, and creating new hospitality and fan-engagement opportunities.