CLEVELAND -- Sometime after Sunday's final Browns home game against the Chicago Bears, work will start on the first phase of upgrading FirstEnergy Stadium, including new scoreboards, a new sound system and new escalator.
Thursday night, as big-name performer Justin Timberlake filled the Q, some asked an old question.
Why doesn't the city get more use out of Browns Stadium on non-football days as a source of revenue, maybe to recoup some of the $2 million/year it will be spending towards those improvements?
By lease, the city can use the Stadium for other purposes eight days a year.
In 2013, it held no events. And none are scheduled yet for 2014.
City Councilman Mike Polensek says the city's contributions are still a sore subject with his residents.
"That's all we've been hearing," he said.
He believes those complaining residents are eager to see the city get more use and value out of the stadium that cost $283 million to build and has had millions more in improvements since 1999.
"Would all our citizens like to see greater activity at the stadium which would generate into revenue streams? Of course they would," he said.
Justin TImberlake played a lot of stadium concerts this summer in some cities similarly sized or smaller than Cleveland, including Baltimore and Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Why not here?
Polensek believes it's because big-name acts demand money and guarantees up front. He says that would be a big risk for the city to take, given the uncertainties of weather.
But he thinks the proximity of the Rock Hall should help bring concert possibilities. All-day concerts and rock events used to be held at old Municipal Stadium.
The city admits it wants to get more value out of the Browns home.
It's hoping more projects and activity downtown will spur more events there.
And Chief of Staff Ken Silliman says it's reaching out to the Browns and other community partners looking for ideas to bring more life and value to the stadium.