By DARYL RUITER, 92.3 The Fan Browns Beat Reporter

CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – The Cleveland Browns have sold the naming rights to Cleveland Browns Stadium to Akron, OH based First Energy 92.3 The Fan has learned.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer was first to confirm the the deal, rumors of which began spreading through social media Monday morning.

The Browns will not comment on the deal publicly.

“While we remain committed to partnering with local community leaders and businesses to make our communities attractive places to live and work, we have no new announcements regarding any major sponsorships at this time,” FirstEnergy said in a statement.

A press conference for 2 p.m. Tuesday is scheduled to announce the new name for the 14-year old stadium according to a league source who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal could not be discussed.

Owner Jimmy Haslam said in August that it was his expectation that they would sell naming rights to re-brand the stadium.

Haslam is in the process of investigating future upgrades and renovations to the stadium but it is unclear how they would be paid for.

The late Al Lerner named the $283 million facility, which opened in 1999, Cleveland Browns Stadium in honor of the fans who fought to get the team back after Art Modell moved the original franchise to Baltimore.

His son Randy Lerner, who took over the team in October 2002, refused to sell naming rights to the building because he felt that the stadium was the property of the people.

The Browns formerly played at Cleveland Stadium, which was razed so that the 73,000-seat Cleveland Browns Stadium could be built on the site.

Lerner agreed to sell the team to Haslam on Aug. 3. The $1 billion deal was approved by NFL owners on Oct. 16, 2012 and closed on Oct. 26, 2012.

(TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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