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Are the Browns Staying in Downtown Cleveland?

Last weekend a story was posted online of the Northeast Ohio Transportation blog regarding a potential site in Downtown Cleveland of a new dome stadium for the Cleveland Browns.  The NEO Trans Blog story by Ken Prendergast stated that Mayor Bibb and the city of Cleveland are about to announce the future closure of Burke Lakefront Airport to be repurposed for better public use. The speculation is that part of this 400-acre site could be offered to the Haslam family as a site for a future dome stadium. But closing the lakefront airport is easier said than done.

Haslam’s mini-downtown – at Brook Park or Burke?

The Federal Aviation Administration has regulations that need to be met before an airport is closed. A similar airport must be in the region to accommodate air traffic. Currently no similar airport exists in Cuyahoga County. It appears that to develop the land, some federal hoops need to be jumped through first. And who knows how long that could take?  The article did explain this as well and it is an interesting discussion to have. But it is not what I think will happen.

I believe the most likely outcome is the new dome stadium will be built at the Brookpark Ohio site. The same site that the NEO Trans blog broke the story last February. The article said that the Haslam Sports Group has a purchase agreement in place for the 176-acre plot of land. On top of that, recently the city council of Brookpark Ohio passed resolutions to welcome the Cleveland Browns to build the new stadium. As much as we want the Browns to stay in downtown Cleveland, I don’t think the city of Cleveland has the land or the funds to keep them. The team will still be called the Cleveland Browns and they will be playing directly across the street from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. And this is speculation on my part. I as an objective observer is simply reading the writing on the wall. But until there is an official announcement from all parties involved. All we can do for now is speculate.


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