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Dome or open air for Browns new stadium? A Community Conversation

City of Cleveland and Jimmy Haslam have a lot of decisions, together and separate

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star Jenna Watson/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

Fans of the Cleveland Browns just want to watch football, enjoy the game and have their team win big. The business of football often gets in the way of the simple pleasure of the game of football.

It seems widely accepted that the Browns need a new stadium. It seems likely that it will happen but so many details will have to be decided about where and what is built. The recent report that the Haslam ownership group is in the process of purchasing land next to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport reopened the conversation about building a dome or no dome for the Browns.

We want to hear from our readers about what you think about a domed stadium for home games. We also thought it was important for some of our staff to share our thoughts as well:


Jared Mueller

I won’t pretend to be an economic person who understands the benefits and downfalls of having a domed stadium overall. I do think it would be cool to host a bunch of events including, possibly, a Super Bowl. While I don’t know economics in detail, I do know a domed stadium is much more expensive than an open-air one. Feels like there could be simple studies done to show whether to added events could offset that cost to make the dome worth it.

As for on the field, I don’t really care. I don’t attend games when it is freezing (too many reasons to explain here including I don’t want to be cold lol). I also don’t think it particularly gives the Browns a benefit to having a cold-weather game. The most important thing is winning AFC North games and all of those teams play in similar climates with Baltimore being the only one a little warmer.

Final answer: I’d like a dome if it makes sense financially. Not ideally but a look at other stadiums (like Lucas Oil pictured above) and what they make off events versus the cost of building it.


Matt Wilson

I believe that rain, wind, and snow on game days in Cleveland are what makes them special.

Anybody can play in a domed stadium, but real football is played outside in the elements. Cleveland Browns home games should never be played indoors.


Thomas Moore

From a fan standpoint, I say “no” to a domed stadium. That may be an easy answer for someone who watches Browns games from the comfort of their couch, but only a handful of teams in the upper Midwest or Northeast play in a dome, so no need for the Browns to do so.

From a responsible citizen standpoint, the City of Cleveland has so many other pressing issues that impact the daily lives of so many residents that committing the extra money needed to build a domed stadium is simply irresponsible. And the fallacy that a dome will bring extra events is a narrative that needs to go away as the economic impact is always grossly overstated. The media bitched about having to come to Cleveland in June for the NBA Finals, does anyone realistically believe they want to come to Cleveland in February for a Super Bowl?


Curtiss Brown

Look from my perspective, as someone who has played football before at every level (the highest being Division 3) I have seen my fair share of the elements when it comes to football. With that being said, build a dome (whether it’s retractable or not). How many times have we seen Cleveland miss out on opportunities to host main events (i.e WWE, concerts, dare I say the Super Bowl).

Some of it has to do with the fact the stadium is right next to a lake and during the winter it can get pretty brutal in terms of the temperature. Building a dome is fine, it’s something that most NFL teams will transition to in the future. All the people saying “no dome” are trying to bring up “football is played outside regardless of the elements.”, “real football played regardless of sub-zero temperatures”. Yeah, cool story I don’t care.

I wasn’t born when the Browns moved out of the city but my father did tell me the reasons why the team left and one of the reasons was because due to the ongoing legal battle due to whether to build a new stadium or not. There is nothing wrong with building a retractable roof, the football will still be the same.

Build the dome.


Barry Shuck

My brother lives in Indianapolis. I have gone to games when it is 9 degrees outside but toasty inside. When you experience that, you realize a comfortable environment is the way to go. You have that at your home, correct?

I am not sitting in freezing weather for three hours just to watch a football game. But I will deal with the elements from our vehicle to the stadium. I will not purchase tickets in cold weather months. The sports bar down the street from me is the better option. If you ask any fans of the Vikings, Lions, or Argonauts (Toronto), every single one will say the inside dome when the weather is soooooo cold is a blessing.

Same in hot environments such as Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, and Atlanta. Why get roasted when you can have A/C supplied instead? I have been to many Clemson games in September, and thousands are under the stadium while the game is going on because their seats are in direct sun. Why pay money and be miserable?


Here is where we want to hear from you. Include details about your experiences at games (Browns or otherwise) and whether you attend games regularly.

Scroll down just a bit to our comment section to discuss and see what others say. A reminder to keep it friendly, no name-calling, etc, please!