No dome in the Cleveland Browns future
By Randy Gurzi
Cleveland Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam are focused on renovating FirstEnergy Stadium and developing the lakefront in Northeast, Ohio. While there has been talk of the team looking for a new stadium, the Haslams reiterated their desire to stay where they are — but said it would be their "first choice."
With the lease coming up in 2028, anything is clearly on the table but the Haslams know that not only is the location of the stadium perfect but there's also room to develop even more around it.
"Cleveland would benefit tremendously from the development of the waterfront. Having the stadium down there seems to be in everybody's best interest. So we're committed to redoing the stadium. In all likelihood, it's not going to have a dome, but it'll be a substantial remodel of the existing facility and we're probably 3, 4, 5 years away from that happening. "- Jimmy Haslam via Akron Beacon Journal
The Haslam Group, which also recently purchased a minority interest in the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks, first purchased the Browns in 2012. They inherited the current location and there has been some renovation but overall, it's falling behind some of the current stadiums in the NFL.
Having said that, there are positive trade-offs. FirstEnergy Stadium is still an affordable place for fans to go and cheer on their favorite team, which can't be said for many of the newer domed arenas that have been built as of late.
Teams such as the Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons have even been accused of pricing out the average (passionate) fan, which has led to a lack of home-field advantage.
No Dome in the future
The biggest sticking point for fans will be the fact that no dome is likely according to Haslam. Just over the past couple of seasons, the weather on the shores of Lake Erie has been an issue. The cold, rain, and wild wind have shut down passing attacks and ruined kicking games — which has led to a cry for a roof over the field.
In addition to better conditions, a dome would allow for more options including potentially hosting the NCAA Final Four.
However, it doesn't appear that's in the cards right now.