April 20, 2024

Halsams Are Playing Chess While Cleveland is Playing Checkers

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It’s no secret Cleveland wants their cake and to eat it too. Jimmy Haslam acquiring land in Brook Park makes sense as a location. But Jimmy knows just as well as everyone, that lakefront property is where his value is. He can develop the land around the stadium. He can have year-round enterprises on the lake. Downtown is a destination. Left of the airport is not. You will only go there for games and events. Nothing else. 

Restaurants, bars, museums, the lake itself, big ships and more all bring money in around the stadium. It helps feed Cleveland’s economy year-round. 

It just makes sense that acquiring land is the Haslam’s way of strong-arming Cleveland lawmakers into agreeing to pay for more, or all of a dome to keep people downtown. Whether it’s a new stadium or a partial tear-down retrofitted dome. Cleveland needs a dome. The weather is predicted to be all 4 seasons from week to week. Sometimes day to day. The dome allows bigger concerts and events year-round. Conventions that are too big for the convention center that happens to be right across the street can fit in the stadium. You can hold major sporting events like Super Bowls, NCAA Bowl Games, final 4’s, soccer, hockey, and more. 

Cleveland knows that the Haslams have them where they want them. They’re no longer in a position to bargain either. It’s pay up or the Browns move 15 minutes away. 

If I were in Mayor Bibb’s position, I’d be asking myself how I make this work and how soon can I make it happen.

 I don’t claim to be a structural engineer. But most of the stadium is already encapsulated from the outside. Building a roof system similar to SoFi stadium while capturing the top of the Cleveland Browns stadiums seems by far to be the most efficient way to do it. 

Time will tell. Let’s hope they keep the stadium downtown. 

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