It has been reported the Cleveland Browns are looking to make major renovations to their competition home, formerly known as FirstEnergy Stadium. The Haslams originally were wanted a new stadium but couldn’t come to an agreement with the city of Cleveland.
With plans in the works to give the current facility a facelift as early as 2026, the question where the franchise would play during the renovations arises? One would think Columbus would be an option with Ohio Stadium being a possible venue.
This would be a similar situation to what the Chicago Bears were in several years ago. When Soldier Field was going through major renovations, the Bears played their home games at the University of Illinois in Champaign, about a two-hour drive from Chicago.
"That means the Browns will play for two to three seasons at another location. It isn’t publicly known yet where the Browns will play, but Columbus is a likely location."https://t.co/OVXNemgGPi
— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) April 17, 2023
However, WKYC in Cleveland has reported there is no merit to the report the Browns would play home games in Columbus. WKYC stated they had checked with sources in Columbus, with Ohio State and with the Cleveland Browns and found no traction to the rumors. It is believed the Haslams would never play home games outside of Cleveland and make fans drive more than two hours to see their Browns play.
It does beg the question though… if Cleveland Browns Stadium is not available for play, where else could the team play? Akron is a 40-minute drive, but InfoCision Stadium only seats 30,000 fans. It would be hard to imagine an NFL team playing at such a small venue. The Hall of Fame facility in Canton might feel like a better fit, but it’s even smaller at only 23,000 seats.
Time will tell if the Horseshoe would be a good fit, but it certainly couldn’t hurt. With Columbus not having an NFL franchise, loyalties are split among the Browns, Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers. A move like this might help build an even deeper fan base in the state’s capital.
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