First Energy Stadium

CLEVELAND BROWNS:
PHASE II STADIUM MODERNIZATION PROJECT

Think of FirstEnergy Stadium as a house. It shouldn't be hard. After all, for 10 days a year, it’s the home away from home for thousands and thousands of devoted Browns fans.

Those who attended one or more of the Browns' 10 home games in 2014 saw the result of the investment made to improve the exterior of a house. Massive, uniquely shaped video boards, escalators that helped eliminate congestion and a cranked-up audio system were among the noticeable upgrades fans enjoyed in 2014 after the completion of Phase I of the stadium's two-year modernization project.

Consider Phase II, which has begun in earnest and will be completed in time for the 2015 season, as the long-awaited touch-up to everything inside of the Dawg Pound’s house.

"I think that from the very beginning when we got here and when (Browns owner Jimmy Haslam) bought the team, we talked about engaging the fan," Browns President Alec Scheiner said. "When we talk about that, we're really talking about the Dawg Pound as a whole. I thought we started to do that last year and I thought they saw the benefits of it. We'll continue to do that through Phase II. If our fans don't buy in, we're left with nothing. The stadium is nothing without our fans. We started that process. I think you start it culturally as well as an infrastructure perspective. When those two things come together, you've got a really good fan experience. We listened to our fans."

"We are dedicated to creating the best experience in the NFL both on the field and through every connection we have with our deserving fans and the City of Cleveland. Many of the improvements in the Phase II modernization are a direct result of continuing to listen to our fans and creating a more enjoyable and memorable environment throughout FirstEnergy Stadium."

- Jimmy Haslam, Browns Owner

Stadium Suite Starting with the drive into the area, the walk to the seat and the food and drink enjoyed throughout the game, the importance of this second phase of refurbishing will be felt in every step of a fan's arrival and departure from FirstEnergy Stadium.

"We are dedicated to creating the best experience in the NFL both on the field and through every connection we have with our deserving fans and the City of Cleveland," Haslam said. "Many of the improvements in the Phase II modernization are a direct result of continuing to listen to our fans and creating a more enjoyable and memorable environment throughout FirstEnergy Stadium."

"We should have really good food in our stadium everywhere for everyone. We have all of those things available to us, why not take advantage of it?"
- Alec Scheiner, Browns President

When Scheiner, a self-professed "foodie," moved to Cleveland in 2012, he made daily trips to some of the area's most famous restaurants and tasted the food crafted by its most notable chefs. The feedback from Browns fans matched Scheiner's philosophy: This kind of food needed to be readily available at all parts of FirstEnergy Stadium.

Hodges

All 35 concession stands throughout the stadium will be remodeled with modernized facades, signage, menu boards and way-finding. The Browns' food and beverage transformation, spearheaded by an expanded partnership with Aramark, will take a big step forward with additional celebrity chef stands that will be available to all fans in the 100 level, upgrades to all concession stands and food concepts throughout the building and additional portable chef stands added to the 500 level. Among the expanded options: Michael Symon's "B Spot," Rocco Whalen's "Great Lakes Cheesesteaks," Jonathon Sawyer's "Sausage and Peppers" and Chris Hodgson's "Downtown Dogs." Even the concession areas that do not feature these chefs will be much more Cleveland-centric and provide upgraded food and beverage items.

Roccos

"I'm a big believer that there's no reason to have a food concession stand that doesn't have something local and something unique ... We should have really good food in our stadium everywhere for everyone," Scheiner said. "We have all of those things available to us, why not take advantage of it? We had that in our club areas and a lot of people got to enjoy it. Now we'll have it throughout the stadium."

The stadium’s internal and external features will receive similar treatment.

The lights will be brighter, the signage and way-finding throughout the concourse will be spruced up and easier to read and high-definition graphics of Browns players, legends and the Dawg Pound will be displayed inside and outside of the stadium. The graphics on the outside will be big enough to see from the road as fans drive toward Lake Erie for the big game.

Every inch of the stadium’s premium areas will be revitalized while the Grille Club, north and south clubs and upper- and lower-level suites will be restructured and refurbished. A field-level hospitality location will be added opposite of the Browns' locker room. There, fans will be able to enjoy food, drink and warmth as they watch the players run out of the tunnel and onto the field at the start of the game and after halftime.

Both phases combined to cost $125 million with Gensler - an architecture firm that’s helped upgrade NFL stadiums across the country - once again handling the designs and concepts and Turner Construction making it all come together. The funding was completely fronted by Haslam while the city of Cleveland will reimburse the Browns with $2 million per year over the next 15 years.

Without Haslam's initial investment, "this renovation could not have happened," Scheiner said. "It was 15 years where the stadium essentially wasn't touched. This was to make up for those 15 years," Scheiner said. "When you talk about Phase III or what comes next, now we just have to keep investing every year to keep the fan experience up. I know Jimmy will do that. Jimmy's committed to winning and a great fan experience."

"The stadium is nothing without our fans."