SBD/August 31, 2012/Franchises

Haslam Takes Proactive Approach To Browns Acquisition; Visits Other Owners, League Offices

Haslam hopes to have a stadium naming-rights partner "by this time next year"
Prospective Browns Owner Jimmy Haslam III “won’t officially take over the team until late October, but he’s already plunged in head first,” according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER. Haslam has “already visited” Patriots Owner Robert Kraft, Giants President & CEO John Mara and Texans Owner Robert McNair, and he will “spend time” with Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones on Wednesday. Haslam spent “about four hours in Foxboro, Mass.," with Kraft and Patriots President Jonathan Kraft, where he met QB Tom Brady, toured the facilities and learned "how they privately financed their stadium.” Haslam: “Bob said, ‘Be patient, it’s going to be harder and take longer than you think, but it will be well worth it.’” Haslam said of a potential naming-rights deal for Cleveland Browns Stadium, “We’ve been out talking to people and there’s interest. Obviously I hope it’s soon. I don’t think it happens in the middle of the year, so I’d just say we hope to have somebody by this time next year.” He added that it “wouldn’t carry his company’s name, Pilot Flying J.” Haslam said of potential stadium renovations, “We’ll have three really well-known stadium architects walk through. I do think there’s some enhancements for the fans that need to be done. What, I don’t know. The scoreboard is the obvious thing to look at. We want to give our fans a great venue.” He said that he has not “contemplated putting a dome on the stadium.” Haslam said of hosting non-NFL events, “We’d like to get more use out of the stadium. It’s good for the city and for the Browns brand. ... I’ll go on record as saying I’d love Ohio State to play here” (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 8/31).
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