SBD/July 8, 2013/Franchises

Haslam Once Again Reaffirms That He Plans To Hold Onto Browns Amid Investigation

Haslam cited his investment in the Browns to emphasize he will not sell
Browns Owner Jimmy Haslam III said that he has “no intention of selling the Browns” amid the investigation into his Pilot Flying J corporation, according to Tony Grossi of ESPN CLEVELAND. Haslam was asked if he “could envision any scenario" in which he would sell the team. He replied, “Absolutely not. We plan on owning the Browns for a long time.” Grossi noted Haslam “seemed particularly irritated about the rumors of a possible sale of the Browns.” Haslam said, “Since October, we put together a completely new front office, hired a new head coach with two really good coordinators, sold naming rights to the stadium, and went through free agency and the draft.” To emphasize that he “has no plans to sell the Browns, he cited the investment he has committed to the franchise” since the April 15 FBI raid at Pilot Flying J HQs in Knoxville. Haslam: “We’ve spent $5 million remodeling (team headquarters in) Berea. And we’re working on an upwards of $100 million remodeling of the stadium. We’ve been very committed to turning this franchise around.” He added that stadium renovations "will come in two phases -- one after the 2013 season and one after the 2014 season.” Haslam said that these “do not include ‘fan experience’ improvements, such as new WiFi service, that will be in effect for the 2013 season.” Meanwhile, a source said Haslam “has been working hand-in-glove” with the NFL as the investigation of his company continues (ESPNCLEVELAND.com, 7/7).
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