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FirstEnergy Stadium
The Dawg Pound
DSCN4567 clevelandbrownsstadium e2.jpg
Location 100 Alfred Lerner Way
Cleveland, Ohio, 44114
Broke ground as Cleveland Browns Stadium on May 15, 1997
Opened September 12, 1999
Owner City of Cleveland
Operator Cleveland Stadium Corp
Surface Kentucky Bluegrass[1]
Construction cost $349 million
($395 million in 2021 dollars)
Architect HOK Sport (now Populous)[2]
Robert P. Madison International, Inc.[3]
Ralph Tyler Companies[4]
Project Manager The Project Group[5]
Structural engineer Osborn Engineering [6]
Services engineer URS Corporation [7]
General Contractor Huber, Hunt & Nichols
Former names Cleveland Browns Stadium (1999-2013)
Tenants Cleveland Browns (NFL) (1999–present)
Capacity 67,431

FirstEnergy Stadium, formerly known as Cleveland Browns Stadium, is the current home to the NFL's Cleveland Browns, and has been since the return of the franchise as an expansion team in 1999. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, at North Coast Harbor, near the Great Lakes Science Center and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; the stadium sits on 31 acres (13 ha) of land between Lake Erie and Cleveland Memorial Shoreway (Ohio State Route 2). It has a capacity of over 73,200.[8] The stadium hosts other events, such as college and high school football games, Association football/soccer games, and concerts. On January 15, 2013 it was announced that the stadium will be known as FirstEnergy Stadium, Home of the Cleveland Browns subject to agreement by Cleveland City Council.


Cleveland Browns Stadium sits on the former site of Cleveland Municipal Stadium, which was the team's home for 49 years. Ironically, Browns owner Art Modell moved the franchise to Baltimore, MD (and ultimately became the Baltimore Ravens) because he said the city would not refurbish Cleveland Municipal Stadium, which caused the city to build the new stadium. As part of the deal with the National Football League to reactivate the Browns, the city of Cleveland tore down Cleveland Stadium after the 1996 season to make room for the new facility. Debris from the former stadium was submerged in Lake Erie and now serves as an artificial reef.

Ground was broken on May 15, 1997, the stadium opened in July 1999. The first Browns game at the stadium was played on September 12, 1999, a 43-0 blowout loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

As of the 2011-12 season, Cleveland Browns Stadium is only 1 of 2 current NFL venues that have yet to host a playoff game (the other is Ford Field in Detroit).


The stadium was designed by the Sport Division of Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum (HOK), which is now known as Populous. Dallas, TX-based Huber, Hunt & Nichols was the construction manager. The stadium is a concrete and glass structure, using precast concrete and cast in-place for the upper concourse. Natural stone accents were used at the base of the stadium. The construction of the concrete superstructure took more than 6000 truckloads of concrete, or the equivalent of 60,000 cubic yards (46,000 m^2), with a weight of approximately 235,000,000 lbs (107,000,000 kg).

The playing surface is a Kentucky Bluegrass irrigated field, with a sand-soil root zone and an underground heating system that involves nine boilers and 40 miles of underground piping. The heating system prevents the field from freezing and extends the growing season of the turf.[1] Although it was designed for football, the playing surface was built large enough to accommodate international soccer matches.

The eastern seating section is the home of the Dawg Pound, a section of 10,644 bleacher seats whose occupants are commonly regarded as some of the most passionate in football. It is similar to the original Dawg Pound in Cleveland Municipal Stadium, although the new iteration contains two levels of bleachers instead of one.

Stadium naming

The city chose not to sell the naming rights to the stadium itself, which is unorthodox for major American stadiums built in recent years. However, it sold the naming rights to each of the facility's four entrance gates. Originally, the gates were named for National City Bank, Steris Corp., CoreComm Inc., and the Cleveland Clinic Sports Health. Since the acquisition of National City by PNC Financial Services, Cleveland Browns Stadium does not today have naming rights to any of the gates. The gates names are now intermediate directions where the stadium's gates are located. Upon the accquistion of the Browns' franchise by present owner Jimmy Haslam III, the plans were to rename the stadium; In January 2013, in a press conference, Haslam revealed the plans to sell the naming rights to FirstEnergy of Ohio, who would re-christen the stadium to its present name, FirstEnergy Stadium.


The stadium does not have public parking facilities. However, there are several adjacent parking facilities: the Port of Cleveland Authority visitors lot, the West 3rd Street parking lot, and the Great Lakes Science Center parking garage. Additionally, the West 3rd Street station of Cleveland's Waterfront light rail line serves the stadium.


Non-Browns events

The stadium hosts other events. The Ohio Classic college football game was held there in both 2004 and 2005. In September 2006, it hosted the Bowling Green Falcons-Wisconsin Badgers game. In 2007 it began hosting the Patriot Bowl,[9] a season-opening game between Army and Akron. Boston College defeated Kent State in the second Patriot Bowl on August 30, 2008.[10] In 2009, it hosted the Ohio State-Toledo game.

It has hosted numerous high school football games. The stadium has hosted playoff games of the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) tournament.[11] In June 2010, the Browns announced that four area powerhouses would play in a doubleheader named the High School Football Charity Game. The games were played on August 28, 2010.[12] The stadium also hosted a game between the United States and Venezuela in the run-up to the 2006 FIFA World Cup. It also hosted a women's soccer friendly game between the United States and Germany women's national team. It was chosen as the site of the opening and closing ceremonies in the 2014 Gay Games.[13]



See also

  • List of current National Football League stadiums
  • Chronology of home stadiums for current National Football League teams
  • List of American football stadiums by capacity


  1. 1.0 1.1 About the Stadium (accessed July 11, 2010)
  2. Cleveland Browns Stadium architect, Populous
  3. Cleveland Browns NFL Football Stadium - Robert P. Madison International, Inc.
  4. Ralph Tyler|Cleveland Browns NFL Stadium
  7. A strong local presence -
  8. Cleveland Browns. Accessed 2008-11-11.
  9. Patriot Bowl. Accessed 2007-06-03.
  10. Blaudschun, Mark. "Eagles flash their potential in opening win", The Boston Globe, 2008-08-31. Retrieved on 2008-09-02. 
  11. Tilton, Bill High school football: Mentor will play St. Edward at Browns Stadium The News-Herald, June 10, 2010 (Accessed July 11, 2010)
  12. Browns to host Charity Game June 22, 2010 (Accessed July 11, 2010)
  13. Cleveland, Ohio, USA to host 2014 Gay Games (Accessed July 11, 2010)

External links

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