CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson's administration and the Cleveland Browns briefed city council members on the details of the Browns' proposed $120 million stadium improvement plans.
Mayor Frank Jackson and Cleveland Browns CEO Joe Banner held at press conference Tuesday afternoon.
The Cleveland Browns want $30 million worth of public money for the planned improvements to FirstEnergy Stadium
The Browns are paying all the costs upfront. They are borrowing money to do that. That includes a $60 million loan from the NFL to the Browns that was recently approved. And they will ultimately pay the lion's share of the expenses.
The facility is 15 years old, built with taxpayer money when Cleveland was awarded an expansion franchise in 1998.
The Browns will receive $2 million annually over the next 15 years from the city. Mayor Frank Jackson claims it will come out of the general fund and will not mean any reduction in personnel, services or capital improvement projects.
They Browns will also get a larger voice in spending $12 million of sin tax money already in hand.
The city's planning commission approved the plan last week so permits to begin work at the end of the season can be pulled.
Proposed improvements include bigger scoreboards, a new audio system, more escalators, upper seats relocated to the lower bowl, and concession/club seat/suite enhancements.
Mayor Jackson wants council to vote on the plan ASAP, perhaps with rules suspended next Monday.
Both the Mayor and Browns say they will push to have Cuyahoga County voters approve an extension of the sin tax that runs out in 2015.
That's not part of this equation. But it would provide funding for facility improvements at Progressive Field and the Q as well as Browns Stadium.
And it would provide Cleveland with more money to absorb increased costs it is responsible for at the end of the Browns lease.