Axios Cleveland

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💸 On this date in 1990, Cleveland voters approved the sin tax that would fund a new basketball arena and ballpark downtown.

☀️ Today's weather: Sunny with a high of 76.

ğŸŽ§ Sounds like: "Should I Stay or Should I Go" by The Clash

🏀 Situational awareness: The Cavs fell last night to the Boston Celtics, 120-95, in Game 1 of the conference semifinals.

Today's newsletter is 931 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Dawg Pound chews on stadium drama

Home is where the Dawg Pound is. Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images

It seems everyone, from city leaders to journalists, has weighed in on the Cleveland Browns' stadium situation — but what do fans think?

Why it matters: Dawg Pound diehards still recall the devastation when the Browns left for Baltimore in the mid-1990s.

  • This time, the Browns could build a domed stadium 20 minutes away in Brook Park.

Catch-up quick: Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam are deciding between building a dome in Brook Park, which would cost more than $2 billion, versus a $1.2 billion renovation to Cleveland Browns Stadium, which was built in 1999.

  • The Haslams are reportedly seeking 50% public funding for either project.

The latest: On Monday, Cleveland City Council approved an ordinance instructing Mayor Justin Bibb's administration to enforce the "Art Modell Law."

  • The law would, in theory, require Browns ownership to gain city approval to move the team outside of downtown, or give the city and its residents a chance to buy the team.

Reality check: The law has never been challenged in court, and there are questions as to whether it is constitutional.

What they're saying: Patti-Jo Burtnett, president of the Strongsville Browns Backers, tells Axios a stadium in Brook Park would be great for the region.

  • "If we build a modern domed stadium, support it with a new Rapid stop, offer a campus with more than just a stadium, and can use the current stadium site for lake, beach, boardwalk access to create a better downtown/lake experience, everyone wins," she says.

The other side: "The stadium should stay downtown," says season ticket holder Fran Belkin.

  • "As for the argument that [a dome] would host so many concerts and events, how many acts are big enough to play a stadium? You can count them on one hand."

More fan reactions

2. Eastern suburbs collaborate on crisis response

Former Cleveland police chief Calvin Williams is now the chief in Richmond Heights. Photo: Sam Allard/Axios

Four eastern Cuyahoga County suburbs are joining a crisis response pilot launched in Shaker Heights in 2022 that sends licensed mental health professionals alongside first responders on selected service calls.

Why it matters: The program expansion, which is expected to begin this summer and will be funded for two years, is a foretaste of enhanced regional collaboration among smaller communities that are often cash-strapped and unable to deliver specialized health and human services.

Catch up quick: Last year in Shaker, social workers responded to 645 calls that included welfare checks, family disputes and suicides in progress, as well as to calls not initially thought to involve people in crisis.

  • The expanded program, dubbed First CALL (Crisis Assistance and Local Linkage), will hire four additional mental health professionals to be based in Shaker and embedded with first responders across Cleveland Heights, University Heights, Richmond Heights and South Euclid.

By the numbers: More than $500,000 of the roughly $1.2 million in funding comes from the local Alcohol Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board, with additional dollars from a U.S. Department of Justice grant, the George Gund Foundation, Cuyahoga County and the five communities.

What they're saying: "First responders for years have been tasked with jobs they're often not trained or equipped to do," Richmond Heights police chief (and former Cleveland police chief) Calvin Williams said at a press conference yesterday.

  • "But an officer with 40 hours of [Crisis Intervention Team] training is no match for a licensed professional who's been doing this work all their lives."

What's next...

3. The Terminal: Ensuring you get the news

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

🗳️ Ohio lawmakers are trying to ensure that President Biden is on the November ballot even though the Democratic nomination convention will be held after the state's election deadline. (USA Today)

🛒 A national supermarket chain called Grocery Outlet Bargain Markets signed a lease on the former Bed Bath & Beyond space at Ridge Park Square. (

🖊️ Cleveland Metropolitan School District and the Cleveland Teachers Union reach a tentative agreement for a new contract. (WKYC)

4. 🤘 It's Concert Week

Kenny Chesney will perform at Blossom Music Center on June 6. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

If you've avoided concerts because ticket prices are too high, this is the week for you.

Driving the news: Live Nation's annual Concert Week kicks off at 10am today and concludes at noon on May 14.

  • Fans can purchase tickets to select shows at Live Nation-run venues for just $25.

The intrigue: Nearly 30 shows at Blossom Music Center and two dozen at Cleveland's House of Blues are discounted.

  • The list of Blossom shows includes Kenny Chesney, Foreigner, New Kids on the Block, Alanis Morissette, Hootie & the Blowfish, Pitbull and more.
  • House of Blues has discounts for X Ambassadors, Amos Lee, Better Than Ezra, Bowling for Soup, Drive-By Truckers, Tori Kelly and others.

Yes, but: Several of the biggest shows — Red Hot Chili Peppers, 21 Savage, Dave Matthews Band, Luke Bryan, Hozier, etc. — are excluded.

Be smart: There is a limited supply of tickets, so prioritize your favorite artists.

5. 💬 Quote du jour: Kaler and the Case encampment

Hand-painted signs adorn the gates around the Kelvin Smith Library at Case. Photo: Sam Allard/Axios

"It's honestly just really annoying that [CWRU president Eric Kaler] chose to consult a group of students that really have little to no actual investment or understanding of what is going on [at the encampment]."
— Jad Kamhawi Oglesby, vice president of the CWRU Students for Justice in Palestine, to Signal Cleveland

Driving the news: Kaler sent a letter to the university community this week saying he had met with students to discuss the ongoing pro-Palestinian encampment outside the University library.

What they're saying: Kaler thanked students for their constructive feedback while reiterating that the university would not negotiate with protesters until the encampment concludes.

  • "Divestment [from financial interests in Israel] — a key component of the protesters' demands — is and remains something the university will not do," he wrote.

Between the lines: Students for Justice in Palestine told Signal Cleveland that they were unaware the conversations were happening.

Thanks to our editor Lindsey Erdody and copy editors Rob Reinalda and Bryan McBournie.

Our picks:

🔔 Sam is honored to be moderating a discussion at the City Club of Cleveland with "Derelict Paradise" author Dan Kerr on June 7.

🤜🏾 Troy is chatting with WWE superstar Mike 'The Miz" Mizanin this morning about SummerSlam in Cleveland.