FirstEnergy Stadium is getting an upgrade!
The Cleveland Browns held a press conference Wednesday afternoon at owner Jimmy Haslam, CEO Joe Banner, and team president Alec Scheiner unveiled their planned upgrades for the stadium in 2014 and 2015. The first phase in 2014 will focus on significant constructional changes to the stadium to make room for new scoreboards, a new sound system, and more escalators.
The details of the plan, including before-and-after renderings of the stadium, can be found at the FirstEnergy Stadium Project website, which I encourage everybody to check out.
Here are some quick hitters we learned from the Browns' presentation:
- There will not be a dome. They investigated the possibility, but felt that it wasn't feasible considering the cost, and they also felt that football should be an outdoor sport in the elements.
- The field will remain grass.
- There will be new state-of-the-art scoreboards in each end zone, each of which will be three times the size of the current boards. A new sound system will be included with the stadium as well.
- Each end zone will have seating removed or relocated in order to bring the video boards closer to the field and to try to create more of a closed bowl, which they hope will help contain the noise factor for fans (which would make communication tougher for road teams). Overall, the stadium capacity will drop by about 3,000 seats, from about 71,000 to about 68,000.
- The end of the project would see 12 escalators installed around the stadium to help fans get to their seats in a much more timely fashion.
Those are the elements that will be addressed following the 2013 season, to be ready for the 2014 season. It should be noted that currently, this is a proposal. The Browns will be meeting with the city and the mayor soon to get approval and/or funding for the project. In the next phase of the project, for 2015, the Browns will look at other things like improving the concession stands, the premium seating areas (club seats, suites, VIP areas), general visual improvements throughout the stadium, and technology issues (i.e. cellular or WiFi).
What do you think of the proposed changes, Browns fans?
UPDATE: Scheiner answered our question regarding the non-rectangular scoreboards:
@DawgsByNature design. Aesthetics. Ability to program on the angle— Alec Scheiner (@scheiner_alec) November 13, 2013