Feb 16, 2024 - News

Cleveland media: Haslams' Brook Park acquisition is more than just a "leverage play"

Illustration of pointed focus lines coming out of a stylized pair of eyes.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

If you were living under a rock last week, you may have missed that Jimmy and Dee Haslam reportedly have their eyes on a 176-acre tract of land in Brook Park, adjacent to Hopkins.

Why it matters: The news invited feverish speculation that this would be the site of a new domed stadium for the Browns, with ample acreage for development nearby.

The intrigue: 3News spoke this week with Brook Park Mayor Ed Orcutt, who said he was unaware of the land being purchased by the Haslams or their affiliates.

  • "There's nothing imminent about the Browns coming to the city of Brook Park," Orcutt said.

Yes, but: Google Maps believes otherwise.

  • It's already christened the tract "Future Cleveland Browns Stadium."
A Google Maps screenshot with a red rectangle around "Future Cleveland Browns Stadium"
Screenshot: Google Maps

Between the lines: Jason Lloyd, writing for the Athletic, said the Brook Park site was "hardly a guaranteed purchase" and cited FAA height restrictions that could complicate construction.

  • But Lloyd, veteran Browns reporter Tony Grossi and Crain's Cleveland Business all said the Browns' potential acquisition in Brook Park was more than just a "leverage play" to wring more subsidies from the City of Cleveland for the renovation of their existing lakefront facility.
  • "The Browns have bristled at those comments," Crain's reported, "both because it implies they have a bad relationship with the city (they say they don't), and because it means they're not seriously considering other sites (they say they are)."

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