Browns have no plans to remove FirstEnergy from stadium name following call from Cleveland councilman to do so

CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – The Cleveland Browns have no plans to end their naming rights deal with FirstEnergy for their lakefront stadium despite a resolution being prepared by a Cleveland City Councilman calling for them to do just that.

Councilman Brian Kazy of Ward 16, who is also the chairman of the committee that oversees Cleveland Public Power, is sponsoring the resolution which will be introduced to Council on Monday according to Cleveland.com.

Passage of the resolution would be a non-binding, symbolic gesture.

“FirstEnergy has been a dedicated partner to the Cleveland Browns, not only on naming rights of the stadium but also on our efforts to improve the lives of many members of the Northeast Ohio community through our youth football and education initiatives,” a team spokesman said in a statement to 92.3 The Fan. “They have taken meaningful action to address the issues that transpired in 2019-2020 and are committed to upholding a culture of integrity and accountability by installing the appropriate policies and procedures going forward. FirstEnergy is also a significant regional employer and strong contributor to the economy of Northeast Ohio, and we remain committed to our relationship and look forward to our continued partnership.”

In 2013, FirstEnergy agreed to pay in excess of $100 million for naming rights to the city owned and largely publicly financed stadium, which opened in 1999 in conjunction of the return of the franchise to the NFL following the relocation of the original franchise to Baltimore where they became the Ravens in 1996.

Kazy objects to the stadium being named by the Akron-based company that was embroiled in a major corruption scandal that included a federal investigation into accusations of bribery to secure passage of legislation that would financially benefit the company.

The Browns lease at FirstEnergy Stadium, which underwent a $120 million renovation from 2014-15, runs through the 2028 NFL season. The team has begun the process of assessing their long-term plans whether to request another renovation to the stadium or construct a new one.

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