Apr 1, 2024 - News

Cleveland City Council wants in on Browns talks

Cleveland City Councilman Brian Kazy speaks at a lectern in a suit and salmon shirt/tie.

Councilman Brian Kazy. Photo: Sam Allard/Axios

Cleveland City Council is sick of being on the sidelines in the Browns negotiations.

State of play: Councilman Brian Kazy called an impromptu press conference Monday at which he said he planned to introduce legislation that would compel the Browns to follow the so-called "Art Modell law."

  • That provision in the Ohio Revised Code, among other things, provides that if a team intends to move, it must give the city six months' notice and allow the city an opportunity to purchase the team.

What they're saying: "What this basically does is ensure that the Cleveland Browns have to go through the legal process of leaving the city of Cleveland — whether they want to move the team to Timbuktu, Brook Park, Lakewood or any other state," Kazy said.

Reality check: Council's new ordinance merely directs Cleveland's law director to "fully enforce the provisions" of the existing law. It's foremost a way for the council to insert itself into the process.

Inside the room: During a media Q&A, Kazy repeatedly stated that the council has not been involved in stadium conversations and has not been briefed by the Haslams or by the Bibb administration.

  • "We know exactly what you've reported," Kazy told journalists, "and that's it."
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