Reporting Matt Loede
CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – For the first time in Cleveland history, an owner of a major sports team sat down with the Cleveland City Council and addressed them in a caucus to talk about the team he represents.
That took place earlier Wednesday, when ‘soon to be’ Browns owner Jimmy Haslam sat with the council for a 35-minute “meet and greet” at City Hall.
It took only two questions in for the question to come up about Browns Stadium, and now possibly adding some type of retractable roof could be an answer to getting more events there.
Haslam didn’t shy away from saying that he plans on exploring the option to putting a retractable roof on the stadium, and that he’s already looking into it.
“One of the first acts that we will do, assuming we are approved, is bring in three nationally known stadium architects, it would be crazy not to talk to all three of them, and get their ideas about the stadium,” Haslam said.
“We are completely open minded, and want to really provide two things, one a great experience for our fans at a Browns game, and secondly we want to use that facility as much as we possibly can, want to use it more than we can now,” Haslam said.
“Anything to help us do that, I am certainly not saying we are going to do that, but we are certainly going to take a look at.”
It may be music to some Browns fans ears, but not to others. A roof could take away that November-December home field bad weather advantage the Browns may have.
On the other hand, having more events at Browns Stadium every year means more money for the city, which is where the purpose of the direction was coming from.
A question later was brought up about the name “Browns Stadium,” and if Haslam was going to look into a naming rights situation.
The future owner says there’s not a doubt that once the season is over, it’s another issue on the table that he and the Browns want to deal with.
“It’s something we said back on August the 3rd we were going to take a look it, your into the season now I think it’s a postseason discussion,” Haslam said.
“It’s my hope that it does happen, as I said it will be after the season before anything happens.”
While most of the chatter between the future Browns owner and the city council was light, it turned a little grim when one councilman mentioned a certain team in the AFC North – the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The councilman said all he wanted was the beat the Steelers twice, to which Haslam replied – “how about just once here?”
The first game between the Steelers and Browns will be on Thanksgiving weekend, November 25th. Haslam had a message for the fans coming to that game.
“The first goal is to win here, and not have so much black and gold in the stadium,” Haslam said.
“For whatever reason we play that game at the end of the year, and I don’t know why, but I don’t want to see all that black and gold, I want to see brown and orange.”
The next Browns owner seemed happy and upbeat as he gets ready for the process of owning the Browns. Major decisions lie ahead, and Wednesday in front of Cleveland City Council, he made a great impression.