FirstEnergy Stadium has been the home to the Cleveland Browns since they entered the league again back in 1999. It replaced Cleveland Stadium, which has stood on the same site from 1931 to 1996.
It now looks like the team is looking to either substantially renovate FirstEnergy or move into a new venue in downtown Cleveland at some point in the not-so-distant future.
“We’re excited for the opportunity to be part of the conversation about downtown re-development,” co-owner Dee Haslam said, via ESPN. “We should be part of the conversation in a bigger way, and I think we will be.”
There had not been a whole lot of rumors about the Browns potentially looking to erect a new venue. Based on the Cleveland economy and political makeup of the city, it’s highly likely that a vast majority of the funds for a new venue would have to be private. Then again, if the Browns are in the conversation for a downtown re-development, that might not be the case.
Cities have made a strong push to develop a foundation of booming businesses near the site of new sports facilities in recent years. Pittsburgh and San Diego are two recent examples. It looks like Cleveland might follow suit.
FirstEnergy is among the oldest of modern NFL stadiums and was built the same year as Nissan Stadium in Nashville. Among those older venues, most have at least renovated to a degree.