What we’ve found takes you inside the stadium talks.
The Cleveland Browns and the city have been exploring major renovations to the stadium or maybe more. Now, what we’ve discovered shows how the city and the team are coming up with a plan for what to do with the stadium.
We investigated who’s involved in the talks.
The mayor’s office says, for the city, the meetings have been led by the Mayor’s Chief of Staff Bradford Davy, Law Director Mark Griffin and Finance Director Ahmed Abonamah.
For the Browns, two top executivess with the Haslam Sports Group: Dave Jenkins, chief operating officer and Ted Tywang, chief administrative officer and general counsel.
The city says that group has been holding monthly meetings lasting 30 to 45 minutes dating back to last March.
City hall says the mayor has not been involved in those meetings.
The Browns say Jenkins and Tywang are the people leading their stadium project.
So, what’s the plan? No one involved will say yet, but the Browns have said they’re committed to Northeast Ohio. Ownership has spoken of preferring to stay on the lakefront.
The mayor’s office says the city hopes to have a plan sometime this spring.
We’ve learned Cuyahoga County officials have also joined in on two other meetings about the stadium.
The county group has included County Executive Chris Ronayne, Deputy Chief of Staff Debbie Berry, Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Gallagher, County Council President Pernel Jones, Jr., Deputy Chief of Staff David Razum and Council Staffer Jim Boyle.
For this story, the Browns and Haslam Sports Group issued a statement. Peter John-Baptiste wrote the following:
“Our consistent and productive conversations continue with the city as does all our diligence on finding a long-term stadium solution that solves operational issues, improves our fans experience and benefits the entire region.”
So many fans find themselves anxious to hear the plan, including the man who leads the Muni Lot Browns Backers.
“I guess a lot of it depends on what they’re going to come up with in the decision, right?” Scott Nunnari said. “I’ve always wondered when they did these changes, would it really be of benefit to the fan?”
This month, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine told us he’d help to get state money for the project. But, he also needs to know what exactly will be done.