Mayor Cyril Kleem
We are very proud and pleased that the Cleveland Browns have confirmed their commitment to stay in Berea.
An amendment to the 50-year lease, which was originally signed in 1990, will enable the team to upgrade their training facility on Lou Groza Boulevard and ensures Berea that its largest taxpayer will stay here for a long time.
I and Browns officials signed the amended lease agreement on Tuesday, June 9 at Browns headquarters. The original agreement contained an opt-out clause for the year 2020. The amended lease extends that to the end of the 2028 football season, which would be February 2029. The lease itself expires in 2040. The Browns have let us know that they are happy here. They like working with us. We don’t make them deal with a lot of red tape. You have made them feel welcome and that is an important piece of the deal. The team, its players and its executives are comfortable here. As Browns President Alex Scheiner said after signing the agreement, “There is long-term vision here. We want to be here for a long time.”
Because the city owns the headquarters building, we are responsible for keeping it a viable facility. That’s why we will enter the bond market with our excellent Aa2 rating to obtain funding for the upcoming Browns projects. In return, the city will receive some benefits that are outlined elsewhere in this newsletter. Among them are use of the field house for community sports activities and use of the facility for a fundraiser for youth sports. The team also will produce three videos promoting the city. We can use those videos to market Berea, promote economic development and attract new businesses. The Browns have an excellent video production studio and the value of those promos is in the tens of thousands of dollars.
My administration and the Browns’ executives have been negotiating the lease changes since last October. We are grateful that the outcome will benefit us both and most importantly, it is an important asset for the City of Berea and our residents.