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City Of Cleveland Reiterates Stance On Browns Future Stadium In Statement

Following reports of Browns ownership purchasing land outside of the city limits for a potential new stadium, the city of Cleveland has released a statement addressing their intentions for the team's future

While of the NFL world descends on Las Vegas ahead of Super Bowl 58, a war of words rolls on between the Browns and the city of Cleveland here in Ohio.

It's all been triggered by reports from the NEO Trans Blog this morning of a transaction by Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam to purchase a 176-acre plot of land near Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. The instant reaction was that the Haslams viewed the property as a potential future location for a new stadium for the team.

Those beliefs seemed to be confirmed by a the team, which released it's own statement hours later outlining that while nothing is official at this time, they are exploring all options when it comes to building a new stadium. Their priority however, remains keeping the team in Northeast Ohio. 

Now, the city has provided a statement of its own on the matter, reiterating the long-stated stance that their goal is to keep the Browns playing their games along the lakefront in downtown Cleveland.

"Keeping the Browns at home on the downtown Cleveland lakefront is a priority for Mayor Bibb and city leadership. We understand and respect how complex this process is and appreciate the partnership we've had and will continue to have with the Browns and Haslam Sports Group.

The administration has developed a strong, thoughtful and comprehensive package that we believe respects taxpayers and protects the city's general revenue fund while meeting the needs expressed by the team. This has been shared with the HSG team during our extensive negotiations over the last 8 months. We continue to meet with their team to refine our teams and come to a shared vision and acceptable deal for both parties that improves the experience for residents, sports fans and visitors. The success of our collaboration and yesterday's $20M earmark which advances our shared goal of improving lakefront access to the stadium for everyone.

The experience of Cleveland residents and visitors to our city is top of mind for us and we are committed to developing our North Coast Lakefront into a world-class, well-programmed, people-focused space and we see the activation of Browns Stadium as a key part of that vision. The mayor's commitment to a vibrant shore-to-core-to-shoe plan for Cleveland is steadfast and gaining momentum. Downtown Cleveland is such an integral part of the game day experience and the transformational changes on the horizon promise to make that experience even better.

Go Browns!

The Browns have spent the entirety of their 78-year existence playing games on the lakefront downtown. That could be jeopardy with this current parcel purchase by team ownership, which would shift the game day experience closer to their home base in Berea.

It's important to note that nothing is finalized at this time and negotiations are still ongoing. The city's statement echos the sentiments that they've shared before about keeping the team downtown. How the finances of the situation impact the final decision remains to be seen.