SBD/September 23, 2013/Facilities

Cleveland City Official Says Richardson Trade Could Hurt Browns' Stadium Plans

The Cleveland City Council is worried that Browns fans "might not support a vote to extend the tax that pays for improvements at FirstEnergy Stadium" after the team traded '12 first-round draft pick Trent Richardson last week, according to Melissa Reid of Cleveland-based WJW-Fox. Council member Mike Polensek said, "The reality is that we are going to try and market at some point, an approval for an extension of the sin tax improvements at FirstEnergy Stadium and we need to have a winning football team to convince voters that it’s worth their investment." About $134M is "still owed on the facility" (, 9/20). In Akron, Marla Ridenour wrote of the team's personnel plans after trading Richardson, "I don’t trust anyone in the Browns’ front office to find the quarterback of the future." The decision on next year's first-round draft pick "will rest with CEO Joe Banner, and he’s never made a choice of this magnitude." Browns GM Mike Lombardi "might be taking the blame" for the trade, but fans "don’t realize Banner is the Browns' version of the Great and Powerful Oz." Ridenour: "As logical of a business move as the trade was and as well-positioned as the Browns are, I can’t say I trust the front office when it comes time to make it bear fruit" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 9/20).
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