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SBD/January 16, 2013/Facilities
Changes For Browns Keep Coming As Franchise Introduces FirstEnergy Stadium
Published January 16, 2013
EXTREME MAKEOVER: In Akron, Nate Ulrich notes selling naming rights for Cleveland Browns Stadium is "only the beginning of the culture change the organization will experience" with Haslam and his new regime in charge. Haslam and CEO Joe Banner "discussed some plans they hope to implement in the not-too-distant future." In addition to the stadium, the team’s "headquarters and its uniforms could be in store for makeovers." Haslam said that three or four of the "top architects in the country will meet with Banner and new team President Alec Scheiner in the next 30 days to discuss potential stadium enhancements." New scoreboards, sound systems and "even a roof are possibilities that will be explored for the lakefront stadium." Banner said that Browns officials already have "met with architects about possibly expanding the team’s headquarters and practice facility that opened in 1991 in Berea." Several team employees who "work in sales, marketing and other departments have offices in the stadium, but Banner said he wants the headquarters to be able to house the entire organization." Haslam said that the Browns "also are preparing to modify their uniforms." He said, "It’s a two-year process in the NFL. We’ve notified the NFL we would like to take a look at our uniforms. So if we do make any changes, it will be for the 2014 season." Ulrich notes Haslam has learned he "must strike the right balance between making changes and maintaining tradition to keep Browns fans -- and his customers -- happy." That is why he "vowed not to mess with the team’s orange, logo-less helmets" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 1/16).
ZEROING IN: Banner yesterday said that the Browns are "wrapping up their first wave of general manager interviews and have identified a front-runner." But in Cleveland, Mary Kay Cabot noted just like "with the coaching search, the franchise will remain mum until it has its man under contract and ready for his closeup." Banner declined to comment on whether Chiefs Pro Personnel Dir Ray Farmer "is his front-runner for the job." A source said that Farmer would "leave the Chiefs for a larger role with a club." Banner said that the Browns job "will most likely carry the title of general manager as opposed to director of player personnel" (CLEVELAND.com, 1/15).