New Browns owner Jimmy Haslam wants to consider a roof

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New Browns owner will likely make many changes once he takes over, but he’s thinking about one that would change the fundamental Cleveland experience.

Haslam told members of the Cleveland City Council that he’ll explore the possibility of adding a retractable roof to Cleveland Browns Stadium.

“One of the first acts that we’ll do and I’ve said this several times, assuming we’re approved [as owner], is to bring in, I think there’s three nationally known stadium architects — and you’d be crazy not to talk to all three of them — and get their ideas about the stadium,” Haslam said, via the Akron Beacon Journal. “We are completely open-minded, and we want to provide really two things: one, a great experience for our fans at a Browns game; the other thing, secondly — and I assume this is what everybody in this room is interested in — we want to use that facility as much as we possibly can, want to use it more than we can now.

“So anything that helps us do that, I’m certainly not at all saying we’re gonna do that, but we’ll certainly take a look at it.”

That sounds like a thinly veiled request for a Super Bowl as well as getting in out of the snow and wind, and since it’s been pulled off in other cold-weather venues, it’s not impossible.

But it just seems counter-intuitive.

Cleveland in December can a brutal place, though I’m told some people find it charming.

Browns coach Pat Shurmur is apparently one of them.

“I like the setting that we present on game day here,” Shurmur said. “I’m not really trying to visualize anything different at this point. … I think some of the charm of, at least of what I’ve experienced so far here in Cleveland, is kind of the late-season, wintry setting.”

The idea of indoor football in Cleveland (or even sheltered-from-the-elements) may never seem natural, however, no matter how many events they could bring there.

37 responses to “New Browns owner Jimmy Haslam wants to consider a roof

  1. Not a bad idea. As a season ticket holder, I can vouch for the fact that no one wants to go to the games when it’s freezing / snowing outside and the Browns are 3-9 heading into December.

  2. How about putting a team together first? You know, with players, coaches and GM rather than the status quo. One player just isn’t going to cut it. Colt or Weedon and Richardson can’t do it by themselves.

  3. I think he should worry about winning.

    1. It would improve the fan experience
    2. It would improve the charm of the place
    3. It would bring in revenue.

    But that is just me.

  4. I’m a Browns fan who has sat through many cold and snowy games. And while there are those that would appeal to tradition, I am pleased to see everything on the table, including the possibility of a dome.

    The “tradition” appeal no longer means anything to me. The Browns haven’t won a championship in 48 years. I think we can break from tradition. And I mean on just about everything.

    I am no architect, but I am concerned that the idea of a dome on this particular stadium may not be feasible. There are major cuts in the design of the bowl. The two sides of the upper deck do not connect. There isn’t much space between the sides of the structure and the roads around it, so anchoring a dome from the ground and encasing the structure may not be possible either.

    Hate to say it, but it might be more cost effective to build a new facility than to retrofit this one – even though it just opened in 1999. The upside to that though would be that a new stadium could be built someone other than the lakefront, opening up that land to something more appropriate to enjoying the lake than for a stadium used about ten times a year.

  5. Ummm head coaches opinion on structural changes, means absolutely nothing. A roof will last for decades to come, a coach, a GM… they may not even be there next year. Just saying!

  6. I don’t think the roof would necessarily mean that it would be closed on game days, but face it, in Cleveland you have a stadium that is used for 10 NFL games , maybe a high school/college game or two, and a Kenny Chesney Concert annually. By adding a roof, you can use the stadium for a wider variety of events = more revenue for the owner and the city.

  7. Retractable roofs in baseball are a great idea: 81 games a year, weather will be gorgeous most of the time, but with a roof option you can play on and not postpone games when whether is not so great.

    Retractable roofs for football stadiums are a stupid and wasteful idea. Football is meant to be played outside, in real weather. A football stadium gets used for 8 regular season games, a couple preseason games and maybe a playoff game or two.

    Take Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis…no reason to have a retractable roof there. From what I’ve seen, its open what, once maybe twice per season, always closed from October on. You want to have a roof over the place? Not my cup of tea, but just build a permanent roof and be done with it. Why pour tens of millions of more dollars into construction and operational costs for novelty you use 1-2 times a year? The cost inevitably gets passed on to fans in price of parking, ticket$ and conce$$ions, Not worth the very minimal benefit.

    BTW, I think Clevelanders are rugged enough that they can handle some wind and snow. Separates the men from the boys.

  8. And all these years of following the NFL I thought one big part of home field advantage was taking into account weather conditions.

  9. obviously im no browns fan but i can tell you this, cleveland is one of the throw back towns and i promise you “they” will never let this new owner throw up a ridiculous roof over the browns… football is Suppose to be played in the elements so leave it alone

  10. Home Field advantage because of the weather?

    Not all players are from up north. Snow hits and teams practice inside anyways… whats the big deal?

    Its retractable. A foot of snow dumps in Cleveland and they can still open the dumb roof up to 90 minutes before kickoff.

  11. When was the last time the Browns had a winning season? I’m being serious. Was that before the first ones moved to Baltimore? Or has it happened since the new ones took up rent there?

  12. Apparently, most people on here saw “roof” and then went ahead and typed their comment without reading the article.

    Haslam does not want to consider adding a roof so the football team can get out of the weather. He wants a roof, as is CLEARLY stated in the article, so that the football stadium can be used for other events.

    “we want to use that facility as much as we possibly can, want to use it more than we can now”

    It’s right there, in black and white in the article.

    A football stadium in a cold weather climate WITHOUT a retractable roof is stupid. It basically means that for 6 months out of the year, you get to use the stadium a total of 8-10 times.

    No concerts, no events, no trade shows, nothing. Millions of dollars in revenue and taxes left on the table so that Cleveland fans can show what a bunch of tough guys they are because they sit outside and watch football in the winter.

  13. The city would definitely benefit from the additional revenue generated from an large capacity indoor facility. Will an indoor facility solve all/any of the Browns problems? No one can tell. But now they have an owner that wants to change the culture and is open to suggestions from outside of the box.

  14. FINALLY! I haven’t went to a winter Browns games since the blizzard kicking match against Buffalo a couple of years ago. I’d probably buy more tickets if there were a roof and possibly heat pumped into the place! All of the “tradition” whiners need to realize that it hasn’t helped us win any more games. All it ends up being is a field goal fest between both two teams. Who wants to pay to see that? “The Drive” might have turned out differently if our kicker wasn’t literally iced. We’d have been to a Super Bowl. I like Jimmy shaking things up.

    If I were him…I would have fired every single member of the front office and team and staff…and would have only rehired the players who WANT to play here and create history. Wide Receivers who “don’t care” about what Cleveland fans think would be first to go.

  15. I was being serious, but judging by the number of thumbs down my question received, let me ask it again: When was the last time the Browns had a winning season? I am NOT trying to give you fans a hard time. I’m just curious about how long things have been down for you guys.

  16. dougydougdoug says: Sep 20, 2012 10:46 AM

    When was the last time the Browns had a winning season? I’m being serious. Was that before the first ones moved to Baltimore? Or has it happened since the new ones took up rent there?
    10-6 record in 2007.

  17. In other words, the new owner is going to make an unreasonable demand of the tax payers and when they say no, use that as an excuse to move the team.

  18. I as a fan of football, don’t like the browns getting the roof. Cleveland is better suited to play snow weather, physical football when it snows. That’s what they are known for the best. That’s what they do the best. It may not be suited for the current day and age. But Cleveland, Baltimore , Pittsburgh are known to play physical style snow weather football. Things have changed there. Moving away from “Run the ball and Stop the run” philosophy.

  19. With everything else that is keeping fans at home these days watching the games in Their Man Caves thru Sunday Ticket on 52″ HD TV’s I’m thinking making the real event experience a more suitable one is probably a better idea. Yea, let’s just give everyone one more reason to stay home, the weather.
    I hear all of you, I grew up in the 70’s watching all our favorite teams and games outdoors also, but times have changed as have today’s fan, and if you don’t adjust you will lose them.

  20. My 2 cents and I am a Browns fan. Do not like this idea at all. Open air stadiums offer the best atmosphere for sporting events for both baseball and footballe, especially football.

    I would vote against any type of roof at Cleveland Browns stadium. Cold weather is football weather and always will be.

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