FirstEnergy Stadium, Home of the Cleveland Browns opened in 1999 with enough room for 73,200 cheering fans. And cheer they do. Loudly! Especially if you are sitting in one of the 10,644 seats in the Dawg Pound (bleacher seats). If you prefer a less rowdy crowd, choose another seat, perhaps one of the 8,801 club seats or in one of the 142 luxury suites. Sections 541 through 3 are family zones — meaning no alcohol — and they feature family activities, kid-friendly foods and visits from mascots. Parents can stop by guest services for a “Browns buddy” wristband with their name, section and seat in case parent and children are separated. These are located near sections 102, 509 and 534, as well as at the concierge desks on the club level. In addition to noise, the stadium is known for being cold during football games, so dress warmly and bring blankets. It is on the waterfront of Lake Erie and often gets pounded by Canadian-borne winds.
FirstEnergy Stadium is in downtown Cleveland in the same district as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Great Lakes Science Center. Major roadways into downtown Cleveland include I-90 (exit at East 9th Street and head south) and I-71 (merge onto I-90, then exit at East 9th Street and head south). Nearby lots run by the local port authority cost about $25, and as you move farther from the stadium, lots and garages are cheaper. Plan to arrive at least one hour before kick-off to avoid the longest lines. Nearly 1,500 wheelchair-accessible seats are available, but you must call to reserve them well before game day.
Drinks and Fun
For sit-down dining or a formal meal, such as a business meeting, make plans at Legends Club [(440) 824-3517]. The restaurant is on the second level and has stunning views of Lake Erie. For more informal dinning, BrownsTown in Section 134 offers an indoor tailgate party atmosphere, complete with barbecue. It opens two hours before the game. Grille, on the main concourse, features an outdoor patio and traditional grilled items such as hamburgers.
Prohibited Items, Permitted Items
In addition to obviously prohibited items (illegal drugs, outside alcohol, weapons), FirstEnergy Stadium prohibits these items: strollers, balls, balloons, bones, animals not assisting the impaired, plastic bottles and all cans, lights, noisemakers, ice chests/coolers, glitter and confetti, Thermoses, mace or pepper spray, clothing with vulgar language or depictions, umbrellas and any bag (including purses and camera cases) larger than 8.5-by-11-by-14 inches. You can bring and use cameras and recording equipment, as long as they don’t interfere with other fans’ enjoyment of the game and the recordings won’t be used commercially; laptops and iPads no larger than 8.5-by-11-by-14 inches; binoculars with or without a case; radios; seat cushions; and diaper bags, if you have a child with you, too. -Tonya Vinas