Lloyd: Brown didn’t get a dome, but Haslams says they’re committed to the waterfront project

PHOENIX – The weather was part of the reason Deshaun Watson was initially reluctant to come to Cleveland. Let’s be fair: December in Cleveland is brutal for someone from the South.

However, it won’t change anytime soon. It seems inevitable at this point that outdoor football will continue to be played in Cleveland for decades to come.

In his most emphatic response yet, Browns owner Jimmy Haslam pitched the idea of ​​a domed stadium in Cleveland — or even a new stadium at all.

“Construction costs have skyrocketed recently,” Hassan said. “I think everyone should be hands-on… We’re committed to rebuilding the stadium. In all likelihood, it won’t have a dome, but it will be a substantial reconfiguration of the existing facility, maybe 3-5 years after that happens.”

The Browns’ lease ends in 2028, which means this is the right approach. I’ve spoken to stadium experts who think it’s time to start thinking about the future, not when your lease is 12 months after it expires. Especially when it’s a big project like this.

I’m still skeptical it will work, but this is the first time I believe the Haslams when they say they are sticking to the existing lakefront structure. The stadium experts I spoke with agree that FirstEnergy Stadium is a mess. The location is terrible and the logistics smell. The entire project has been accelerated. Maybelline just doesn’t have enough lipstick to really fix this piggy. But the huslams will try.

For years, I’d wondered what the family’s appetite was for building a new structure. It won’t be cheap. Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas cost $2 billion and opened in 2020, around the same time as construction costs. truly I started to rise. The trend in stadium building in recent years has become, “If you want it, you can build it” which is why Arthur Blank covered a large portion of the bill at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta and Stan Cronk built the new stadium in Los Angeles using no financing. general.

When asked how he would respond if Cleveland Mayor Justin Pape wanted to build a new indoor structure, Hassan laughed and said “it depends on how much he wants to fund.”

The odds of that happening seem incredibly slim, especially since the Haslams are committed to developing Cleveland’s waterfront. What city in America would crave $800 million in financing when the landlord wouldn’t ask for it?

The current plan is a massive lift that will require Shoreway reconfiguration and possibly the eventual closure of Burke Lakefront Airport, though Haslam said any plans for the airport are in the future and will be part of “phase two.”

I always thought the best play was to go out to the 480/77 exchange in Independence and build your own. Yes, the costs (public and private) will be prohibitive. But a dome with multiple uses around it such as hotels, restaurants, shopping, and residential spaces would create a financial engine to start cashing checks.

It’s clear at this point that the Haslam family does not share this vision in part because they believe they can bring this versatile component to the lakefront. Hassan has talked about retail, dining, entertainment and affordable housing as part of the waterfront project they envision at a cost much less than the starting point of a $2 billion domed stadium on top of everything else.

Will it really happen? we will see. As with everything else, it all depends on costs. Various plans for waterfront development have been discussed and rejected for decades.

Sherwin-Williams moving its headquarters downtown is a huge financial injection into an area that desperately needs it. It would be beneficial to attract more business. Pilot is not moving their headquarters here and Haslam has pointed to ongoing projects the Browns have in Berea that make moving their headquarters downtown unfeasible.

They said that the Halimites live here for at least half a year. They’re committed to Cleveland, something they didn’t think possible 12 years ago.

If they can make it happen, if they can connect the waterfront to downtown Cleveland and revitalize the lakefront, it could go a long way toward restoring some of the goodwill lost by the FBI scandal, the Watson decade, and a decade of bad football. They have been brought to town.

It’s a huge cleanup project. both of them.

(Top photo by Jamie Hassan: Nick Cammett/Getty Images)


(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Related posts