SBD/August 20, 2013/Facilities

Browns' $5M HQs Renovation Demonstrates Owner Haslam's Commitment To Team

Banner wants the Browns to be in a position to attract and keep employees and fans
Browns CEO Joe Banner is hopeful a recently completed $5M renovation to team HQs in Berea "will ultimately make it easier to attract top players and executives to transform the Browns from doormat to an NFL power," according to Jeff Schudel of the Willoughby NEWS-HERALD. More than one-third of the 90,000-square foot building "was upgraded and modernized into a brighter more wide open spacious facility with white as the dominant color, cubicles in the main section and murals of famous Browns and quotes by famous people on the walls." The facility contains "60 offices and 90 work stations and now houses 68 additional employees who had been working in FirstEnergy Stadium." Banner said, "Whether it's a coach or somebody in the business area, somebody in enhancing fan experience, I think we're going to be in a position to attract and keep them. I think it's important to be thought of as an organization that has an owner willing to put the money up to run a first-class organization." He added that the $5M investment "with no financial return represents team owner Jimmy Haslam's commitment to the Browns" (Willoughby NEWS-HERALD, 8/20).

INSPIRATIONAL WORDS: In Ohio, Mike McLain notes quotes attributed to U.S. Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson "are painted on the orange walls of the modern, spacious complex." The words of Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Colin Powell and others "seem to be at every turn of the hallway that winds through rows of desks and offices." One quote in particular "is Banner's favorite." It is "unique in its source and its deviation from the central theme: 'A little nonsense now and then is cherished by the wisest men.' -- Willy Wonka." Banner led a media tour of the facility yesterday "with the pride of a young boy showing off his baseball card collection." He even "dared to take his visitors into the 'war room.'" But making the moment "awkward was seeing Browns general manager Michael Lombardi and a few of his personnel hard at work." Lombardi seemed "almost stunned that Banner would include the war room on the tour." What was "learned from the brief tour was the value that Haslam and Banner place on camaraderie and employee satisfaction from a work place that can be described as inviting and worker friendly." It seems that Haslam "will spare no expense to provide an environment that's conducive to an improved work ethic" (Warren TRIBUNE CHRONICLE, 8/20).

DRUMMING UP EXCITEMENT: In Cleveland, Glenn Moore noted the Browns are "trying hard to improve the team on the field," and they also are "trying to improve the experience for the fans." The team announced back in July it was "enhancing the gameday experience for fans in and round FirstEnergy Stadium." One element is "adding a drumline, something nearly half of the NFL teams already include." The drumline will "be used before the game entertaining fans in parking lots and tailgating." The drummers will then "be seen and heard inside the stadium during the game." The Browns said that the drumline "will be ready to go for the first regular season game" against the Dolphins on Sept. 8 (CLEVELAND.com, 8/19).
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