On Wednesday morning, new Cleveland Browns owner, Jimmy Haslam met with city council members in downtown Cleveland. The talks were about a handful of things that could bring more revenue to the city of Cleveland. In particular, the idea of a retractable roof was discussed. This raises the question to Cleveland Browns diehards, “Would you like a retractable roof on Cleveland Browns Stadium?”
Just like any situation, there are pros and cons to everything. Since 1946, the Cleveland Browns have taken the field breathing cold air in their lungs from the wonderful body of water that is Lake Erie. When stepping in to the stadium, Browns fans have instantly become cold blooded and have grown custom to bad weather football. I remember going to games with my Dad in the ’80s and freezing our rear ends off. It was all part of the experience my father told me.
In 2007, one of the most memorable games I have ever attended was the Buffalo Bills vs. the Cleveland Browns in a game forever deemed, “The Blizzard Bowl”. The field was covered in snow flurries so much as the yard markers and end zones were not visible. Fans were dressed in layers upon layers. The hooded sweatshirt I had on turned in to an igloo and actually kept me warm throughout the game. Dare they take these experiences away from us?
Speaking with the great Cleveland Browns fans, Kelly Beatty of Cleveland had this to say, “I think that our city, fans, and team would miss the great cold weather games that are what Cleveland is all about. That is Cleveland football.” Though a retractable roof would allow Cleveland Browns Stadium to become more than just a football venue, Kelly has a good point. Can you picture Jim Brown, Marion Motley, Leroy Kelly, Greg Pruitt, or Kevin Mack running on fake grass and under a roof? Can you imagine not bundling up for a Browns game?
The AFC North, arguably the NFL‘s toughest division to play in, is a smash mouth, cold weather, ground and pound division. Wouldn’t a retractable roof mess with that ingregrity? We don’t see the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, or even Pittsburgh Steelers modifying their stadiums and they all seem to be doing just fine. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.
Lastly, in today’s ever changing tough economy where jobs are scarce, at what cost would the people of Northeastern Ohio pay to have this installed? Actually breaking ground in 1997, Cleveland Browns Stadium was built on “sin” tax money. The vote passed by one percent.
Change the uniforms, tweak the colors, bring in new personnel (again), but please leave Cleveland Browns Stadium alone.
Ryan Ruiz – Cleveland Browns Writer
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