(Cleveland) Pending City Council approval, the City of Cleveland and the Cleveland Browns have reached an agreement regarding the renovations of city-owned FirstEnergy Stadium. The Cleveland Browns will invest $120 million toward improvements and capital repairs. Additionally, the team will continue to pay 100 percent of the operating and maintenance expenses to meet it's obligations under the lease.
To support this significant investment, the City plans to commit $2 million a year for the next 15 years or $30 million from the City's operating fund. This represents a present-day value of $22 million. These funds will help fulfill the City's obligations outlined in the stadium lease for capital repairs and improvements. In addition, with $24 million remaining in the existing sin tax fund for future repairs, as part of the agreement, the City has granted the Browns the right to provide input on how $12 million of that money will be spent on specific infrastructure components, starting in 2016.
"This $120 million renovation is a result of wanting to create the best fan experience in the NFL for our fans and players, and also to create a venue to attract other world-class events at FirstEnergy Stadium, " says Browns Owner Jimmy Haslam. "We realize the transformative opportunity of this investment for the City of Cleveland and worked with Mayor Jackson to help minimize their costs and create the most productive agreement moving forward. We are excited to reward our fans and the community with the experience we deserve."
"The city owns a very valuable asset at FirstEnergy Stadium and the proactive investment in it by Jimmy Haslam and the Cleveland Browns is significant," conveyed Mayor Frank Jackson. "Funding these renovations will protect and enhance the investments we have made in the stadium over the years and will strengthen Cleveland's reputation as a destination city."
The Jackson Administration will submit legislation to Cleveland City Council for it's review and consideration for passage. City Council is expected to vote on the measure on Monday and could possibly pass it if emergency funds are approved.
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