July 31, 2014

Jeff Saturday files suit against city of Cleveland over income taxes

The city of Cleveland taxes NFL players who earn paychecks by playing games on the shores of Lake Erie, but now it appears their methods are under fire. The Indiana Business Journal reports that former Colts center Jeff Saturday has filed suit against the city of Cleveland for their taxation procedures.

At issue is exactly when NFL contract dollars are earned. If a player makes $10 million dollars for a year of football, are they paid that money based on the number of workdays in their season or the number of games? The way the city of Cleveland figures it, a player on a $10 million deal is paid $625,000 per game, so when that player plays a game in Cleveland his taxable income is that whole $625,000.

The way Jeff Saturday figures it, he’s working 200 days a year as a part of being a pro NFL player. That means that he’s paid $50,000 per day of the NFL work year. If he gets to Cleveland on a Friday and leaves on a Sunday, his taxable income in the city is drastically lowered to $150,000. For the city, their revenue is drastically lower as well.

In my example, the city would get $3000 instead of $12,500 in tax revenue on a $10 million player.

One much easier issue to settle might be Jeff Saturday’s claim that he shouldn’t owe anything for a particular Colts game from 2008 when he wasn’t even in the city due to injury.

This is an interesting case. It also drastically changes the cost / benefit proposition of the entire relationship that the city has with the Cleveland Browns. If the law calls into question the very baseline methodology that determines city revenue, it fundamentally changes the landscape with which the city entered into many agreements in terms of costs.

[Related: 2013 In-Season Cleveland Browns Fan Survey]

NFL News: Cleveland Browns and city of Cleveland announce stadium agreement

The details are coming in, but here are the high level bullet points based on what I heard during the press conference. I’ve tried my very best to get these as accurate as possible. It’s difficult with dollar amounts flying around, but here they are.

  • The Cleveland Browns are fronting the money for the stadium improvements.
  • The city of Cleveland will pay $2 million per year over the next 15 years. Mayor Jackson stated that this is in essence $22 million due to the time value of money.
  • The city will look to pass a renewal of the sin tax (as was expected.)
  • Mayor Jackson claims that the $2 million per season will not affect the current levels of service the city is providing.
  • The city has $24 million sitting in a capital fund today as a result of the sin tax earmarked for repairs
  • The city will use $12 million of the $24 million after the second year of Browns spending to further maintain the stadium via capital repairs. These improvements are unknown other than the dollar amount today.

So there you have it. Right now, the city is going to contribute $42 million if you use really elementary calculations and something less than that if you used more nuanced financial calculations. Assuming the Mayor’s calculations are correct, the value of the 15-year contribution is $22 million and then sometime in 2016 (I think) the city will give $12 million.

We’ll keep you updated as more details come out.

[Related: Cleveland Browns stadium funding is a tale of taste and technicalities]

Pics: First look at the new FirstEnergy Stadium (Updated)

Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and his staff unveiled, on Wednesday, their plans for an upgraded version of FirstEnergy Stadium, including improved Jumbotrons at both ends of the stadium as well as a substantial modernization to the sound system and seating. The project will cost roughly $120 million.

The scoreboards will, when installed, nearly triple the size of the current boards. The new boards would be more ingrained in the stadium and closer to fans. Surrounding the scoreboards would be what the team has dubbed “unique fan-engagement areas.” Throughout the stadium, the plan also calls for LED video boards, which would feature stats, scores and information, and installation of an entirely new audio system, said to deliver crisper, clearer audio everywhere in the facility. From a seating standpoint, the Browns will aim to create more seating in the lower bowl, enhancing the view and fan experience for as many fans as possible. The additional lower-bowl seats would further the intimate “close-to-the-field action” that fans love as they watch the game.

The second portion of the upgrades, set to take place in 2015, revolve around concession access and technology. In 2015, the Browns would create new dramatic graphics throughout the stadium, honoring current and former Browns. They will also strive to improve general-admission concession areas, with what they consider to be “revamped and unique offerings, modernize premium areas, and create new hospitality and fan-engagement opportunities.” For those wondering about their cell phones and wifi access, the team states that improving digital connectivity with fans is very important. There will be an emphasis on that throughout this entire modernization.

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“We have consistently communicated that two of the primary areas of focus for us are creating a winning team and creating the best fan experience in the NFL,” said Haslam. ““We have engaged our fans, asked for their thoughts, and responded to their ideas and concerns. This modernization plan is a result of our desire to invest in creating the best environment for them and our players.”

[Related: NFL News: Leon McFadden’s snap count to increase]

NFL News: Buster Skrine added to Browns’ injury report

Cleveland defensive back Buster Skrine was added to the injury report with an undisclosed shoulder injury. He was listed as a limited participant. DE Jabaal Sheard was also added Thursday with an illness, but also was a full participant in practice.

Thursday’s full report:

- G Shaun Lavauo (ankle) did not participate in practice

- DL Desmond Bryant (back) limited participation

- LB Barkevious Mingo (lung)  limited participation

- CB Buster Skrine (shoulder) limited participation

- WR Davone Bess (knee) full participation

- TE Jordan Cameron (groin) full participation

- LB Eric Martin (foot) full participation

- DB Chris Owens (foot) full participation

- LB Jabaal Sheard (illness) full participation

[Related: 2013 WFNY Browns predictions]

The Indianapolis Colts game presentation is impressive

Browns at Lucas Oil Stadium

Despite an awful Browns performance on Saturday night, I came away envious of the dome in Indianapolis. This isn’t the first time I’ve said it, and it probably won’t be the last, but it’s really a great way to take in a game. Lucas Oil Stadium is bright, clean, loud and really does a lot to help bridge the gap between watching the game live and the kinds of things you don’t want to miss at home.

The HD video boards in the corners are well-placed and run impeccably so that even if action is on the other side of the stadium you get a chance to see the replay without trying too hard. Instead of having them on the ends, they have their two video boards in two corners. It might sound like a small change, but instead of having to look all the way right or all the way left, they’re more conveniently placed pretty much for everyone in the building by being in the corners, I think. The cell service worked perfectly with a capacity crowd1 on hand as I uploaded picture after picture to the WFNY Facebook page. Pretty cheerleaders danced to a nice variety of songs which were all blasted from a centrally located speaker system in the middle of the roof. Again, it’s a little thing, but having the sound hit every person from the front is nice. [Read more...]

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Footnotes:

  1. 65,626 according to the box score and I believe that number to be accurate. Despite the picture I used as the Browns were coming out of the tunnel, I looked around during the second quarter and the place looked almost totally full. Listed capacity online is 67,000 []

Public relations, fan experience, and winning aren’t mutually exclusive for the Browns

Kevin Griffin (left) and Zak Gilbert (right) are two new faces in Berea this year

Kevin Griffin (left) and Zak Gilbert (right) are two new faces in Berea this year

Yesterday the Cleveland Browns reportedly delivered a Lou Groza jersey to the family of the Browns fan who put a joke about the team in his obituary. Yesterday, Will Burge reported that the Browns are changing many of the features of the Cleveland Browns game-day experience for the upcoming season including (wait for it) wiener dog races and drum lines. I’ll admit that I have my doubts about some of the things that came up in the game experience rumor mill, but that’s where my doubts end. Over the last couple days with these two stories, we might just have a glimpse at the beginnings of a changing of the tides in Berea.

As I said in the podcast last night, the Browns might fail miserably with a few of their game-day experience initiatives. Yes, Kevin Griffin, Browns Vice President of Fan Experience & Marketing might fall flat on his face with the wiener dog race. Fear of failure isn’t very endearing, and many people who end up being defined by failure never gave themselves an opportunity to succeed. In order to succeed, sometimes you need to take some chances. Plus, if Joe Banner taught us one thing last year, it’s that he’s not afraid to adjust on the fly. Remember that he’s the one who stepped up and nixed the “white flag” giveaway. So, if by chance the wiener dog race or the drumline are utter busts, expect another attempt to show up in its place. That’s my expectation anyway.

The one argument that I commonly hear against this stuff is a non-argument in my mind.1 “The only good PR and game-day experience the Browns need is to WIN,” they say. “Everything else will take care of itself!” It would help, obviously, but overall I don’t buy it. [Read more...]

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Footnotes:

  1. I don’t think it’s a straw man, by the way. I’ve heard this refrain time and again even if I haven’t quoted anyone specifically here. []

Craigslist Weirdness: Own Percy Ellsworth’s Cleveland Browns stadium seat

Update: The $200 Craigslist chair was originally sold on Ebay for a mere $17.50 and is now being flipped by an enterprising fan. The moral of the story? There are way better deals on Ebay than Craigslist, I guess.

Browns chair story update

———- Original Post ————

Sometimes scouring Craigslist can yield very strange results.

According to one listing, you can purchase a bright orange stadium seat from Cleveland Browns stadium that was presumably never installed in the stadium at all. And it will only cost you $200 if you pay asking price.

Even more strange is that the seller apparently purchased this at a storage locker auction and the locker is alleged to have belonged to former Browns player Percy Ellsworth.

Ellsworth played with the Browns in 2000-2001 and apparently just long enough to acquire a Cleveland Browns stadium seat and enough other stuff to justify a storage locker rental.

Browns Stadium seat

 

Stadium Seat 2

 

[Related: Pat McManamon talks Browns, Chuck Klosterman, AOL FanHouse, new media and Fox Sports Ohio – WFNY Podcast – 2013-05-15]

 

Cleveland Browns Stadium to be named via FirstEnergy

The news vortex of Twitter is abuzz on Monday stating that the Browns will be handing naming rights over to FirstEnergy, the diversified energy company headquartered in Akron, Ohio. Several outlets are bantering about the likelihood of said scenario while trolling for feedback — one of the more legitimate being WEWS’ Kristin Volk.

Following the completion of the transaction which transferred majority ownership of the Cleveland Browns to Jimmy Haslam III, naming rights to the stadium were one of the first items which many in Cleveland expected to be changed. The stadium had been dubbed “Cleveland Browns Stadium” since its erection prior to the 1999 season, but Haslam — the former CEO of a billion-dollar truck stop business — notoriously sees the stadium as additional means to market the team.

WEWS reports that the Wilson Football plant in Ada, Ohio has already printed and shipped 60 balls with the FirstEnergy mark on them. If the rumor is proved true, what the stadium’s official name will be remains to be seen as “FirstEnergy Stadium” is presently home to the Reading Fighting Phils, the Eastern League affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. This, in addition to the stadium that houses the University of Akron soccer programs. “FirstEnergy Field” appears to have some traction.

In 2008, Progressive Insurance (headquartered in Mayfield, Ohio) purchased the naming rights to the ballpark which houses the Cleveland Indians, costing the publicly traded firm roughly $58 million for 16 years of rights. Two months prior, Progressive laid of 340 employees. This past November, FirstEnergy — having eliminated 200 positions in October — announced that it expects to cut up to 400 jobs by 2016 citing “struggles to stay profitable in a lackluster economy,” one which has led to continued low demand and low power prices. As of 2010, First Energy reportedly employed 10,000 individuals and provided energy sources to 4.5 million customers.

Update: The Plain Dealer has confimed reports that FirstEnergy has purchased naming rights to the stadium.

[Related: Kelly, Chudzinski, & Plan B….Was There One?]

Browns to alter pre-game introductions against Pittsburgh

With the Rolling Stones’ “Start me up” potentially on its way out as the team introduction song for the Browns1, it is being reported by ESPNCleveland’s Will Burge that Cleveland will now be introduced amidst two ten-foot flame throwers which are to be housed within the confines of Cleveland Browns Stadium.

Jimmy Haslam III, fresh off of his trip to Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, will continue to attempt to improve the in-game experience for those who pay their hard-earned money to attend games on the lakefront. While any business man can tell you that wholesale changes cannot be made overnight — unless it’s the installation of fan-accessible Wifi within Quicken Loans Arena, anyway — that steps undoubtedly need to be made to get the fan experience headed in the right direction.

The flame throwers are obviously similar to those attached to Dan Gilbert’s Q Tube, used during the introduction of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Naturally, as any fan of the Browns will tell you, a win against the Pittsburgh Steelers is also a solid step in improving said experience.

[Related: Browns-Steelers Inactives: Steelers WR Antonio Brown is Out]

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Footnotes:

  1. It is, after all, 2012 []

Calling for the “Lakefront Leap”

As Trent Richardson escaped the warm embrace of offensive lineman Shawn Lauvao en route to a 26-yard touchdown run, the running back ran straight through eastern end zone, heading straight to the Dawg Pound to acknowledge the fans amidst a chorus of cheers from those who braved the elements on that very day. The guitar riff from Queen’s “We Will Rock You” blared, fans slapped gloved hands. The only problem: So did Richardson.

The back who Christened his first NFL touchdown with half-cocked front flip ran towards the Dawg Pound and merely handed out a few high fives before giving way to Phil Dawson and the extra point unit.

Prior to the game, the team announces, one-by-one, members of a given team. Two weeks ago, it was the special teams unit, this past Sunday was the offense with Richardson bringing up the rear, garnering the loudest of cheers. A handful of players then sprint down to the end zone facing the Dawg Pound, take a knee in prayer, and then do their best to rile up the troops. Naturally, this may not be the best time to run full speed and lunge into the beer-holding hands of waiting fans. But after a touchdown? These guys have to do the leap.

The Lakefront Leap.

[Read more...]

That Sure Was Fun, Wasn’t It?

There was a time where I truly loved and looked forward to going down to the Browns games. I looked forward to it all week. The vibe in and around the old Cleveland Municipal Stadium was something I will never forget. It was a true “family” event for my family.

To me, there was nothing like a sunny fall Sunday afternoon on the shores of Lake Erie. Days like yesterday were commonplace when I was a kid. Growing up, Sunday Browns Football was my religion. My father and mother both grew up on Browns football, going to the games at Old Cleveland Stadium with their fathers. In a way, The Browns home games brought my parents together. My dad’s father was a season ticket holder in 1946, he had two seats in section 37. Over the years, the family had grown and so did the popularity of the NFL. Two tickets became four, four became eight, and as my father and his two brothers started families of their own, eight became 12. My mother’s father had his two tickets in row one of section 37. My grandfathers knew each other and my dad was checking my mom out at games.

The rest, as they say, is history.

[Read more...]

Browns Open Thread: Week 6 vs. Bengals

The Browns (0-5) look to collect their first win of the season today as they host divisional rival Cincinnati (3-2). While the Bengals haven’t been that bullet-proof this season, this looks like a stretch based on their dynamic playmakers on both sides of the ball.

Follow along with all of the action here at WFNY. Yours truly will be attending the game cheering on the Brownies, so hopefully they can finally crack the egg in the wins column this afternoon.

While We’re Waiting… Cleveland Browns Stadium is Lacking “Cleveland”

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com

Home field disadvantage: “Can it happen here? As in, “Can it happen in Cleveland?” And it pains me to write this, but will new the Cleveland Browns Stadium ever be like Baltimore, where the Ravens took the field Thursday night having won 12 in a row and 20-of-21 games. It’s a loud, hostile, stadium for a night game. I hate to say it, but this stadium is nearly as feared as old Browns stadium was in the late 1980s in the prime of the Bernie Kosar Era.” [Terry Pluto

[Read more...]

While We’re Waiting … Time for Buffalo and Bad Big Ten

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

A final preview of today’s home game against the Buffalo Bills: “While the Bills exploded last week, they were terrible in Week 1 against the Jets. Cleveland hasn’t exactly strung together two consistent games on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball either. I think Cleveland’s offensive line will have a little bit of difficulty at some points with the Bills’ front four, leading to a more lackluster offensive performance than we saw last week. On the same note, I expect the defense to improve — after seeing where the secondary failed last week, Dick Jauron will make the appropriate adjustments. Fitzpatrick is an inconsistent quarterback, and he’ll turn the ball over one too many times against Cleveland.” [Steve DiMatteo/Dawg Pound Daily]

Is this a must-win game though? Well, I guess so in terms of finding a way to finish with more than 4 wins in 2012, as they don’t come much easier than this. “Last Sunday’s game was another loss for the Cleveland Browns. But it kinda felt like a win. Hey, at least it was a positive performance considering the debacle that was the season opener. Now, at 0-2, the Browns need a win as they play host to the Buffalo Bills (0-2) at 1 p.m. Sunday. Pat Shurmur said what we’re all thinking a day after his team lost to the Cincinnati Bengals 34-27. ‘We have to win this game,’ he said. Agreed. For all the good the offense did last Sunday, it was another loss, which was the team’s 48th loss in their last 68 games dating back to the beginning of the 2008 season.” [Don Delco/The OBR]

Rare stats, penalties and replacement referees all in one post? Yup, you’ve got check out this theory on how home teams might be benefiting from this chaos: “Last week, I hinted that there may be a bias by the officials in favor of the home team, as these less-experienced referees may be more likely to side with the voices of the crowd. That hypotheses certainly wasn’t disproved this week, as 14 of the 16 home teams won, the first time 14 home teams have won in a week since the league expanded to 32 teams. So far this season, there have been 231 penalties against visiting teams and only 188 penalties against the hosts. That ratio — road teams having to deal with 23% more penalties — is far out of line with historical data, which informs us that road teams had 7% more penalties enforced against them than home teams from 2000 to 2011.” [Chase Stuart/Football Perspective]

I wrote about it yesterday, but here’s the first of a couple of posts I’m going to share that lament the sadness that is the Big Ten in 2012: “The overall OOC record for the Big Ten is not terrible, but what the conference has shown us thus far is that every week is Mighty Ducks week. Because apparently any band of misfits from crappy conferences can unite under the auspices of a drunken has-been coach and give a team from the ol’ Bee One Gee a run for their money. This week was no different.” [Johnny Ginter/Eleven Warriors]

So really, why is the conference so bad? It’s not like their NFL Draft losses were that much more significant than others: “After almost four weeks of games, which Big Ten teams have impressed you? The list has to be painfully short. At one point in the early games Saturday, Ohio State led UAB 21-15, Wisconsin led Texas-El Paso 23-16 and Iowa led Central Michigan 24-23, with all three of the Big Ten’s opponents holding the ball with a chance to take a fourth-quarter lead. Ohio State and Wisconsin escaped with victories. Iowa wasn’t so lucky. It shouldn’t be surprising that the Big Ten struggled early Saturday, because the conference has underwhelmed all season.” [Frank Schwab/Dr. Saturday]

Love Paul’s point here about how the Indians starters might just always have been overrated, and this decline isn’t really a drop-off, but simply their actual, depressing talent level: “As frustrating as it is to watch the Indians in terms of stalled development and regression, the appearance of a team that’s going through the motions and is either ill-prepared or ill-equipped to compete at the MLB level is what gnaws at most of the fanbase…at least those that are still watching. Whether that goes back to the coaching staff or the Front Office that assembled the ‘talent’ for said coaching staff to put into the lineup and into the pitching staff is a question that’s been asked before in this space (and in others); but it’s the MAIN question facing this organization going forward. Because it goes back to the “’Nature vs.Nurture’ argument from a month ago in that it has to be asked whether these players are simply flawed and were overrated in expectations for them or if the players (seemingly the whole lot of them) can regress this quickly and this profoundly.” [Paul Cousineau/The DiaTribe]

Jimmy Haslam Exploring Options for Retractable Roof on Browns Stadium

In a meeting with Cleveland city council, soon-to-be-official majority owner of the Cleveland Browns Jimmy Haslam III said that he would like to explore the logistics behind adding a retractable roof on the crown of Cleveland Browns Stadium.

“We are open-minded,” Haslam said on Wednesday. “We want to use that facility as much as we can.”

Though it is by no means a certainty and would likely not occur for many years if at all, the exploration process will reportedly begin once the league approves the sale of the Browns, hopefully by the much-discussed date of October 16. At this point, Haslam will bring in several stadium architects to decide what, if any, options exist.

Haslam also said that the discussion surrounding the faciltiy’s naming rights will begin to take place after the completion of the 2012 NFL Season. This meeting marked the first time that the owner of a Cleveland sports franchise was invited to speak in front of city council.

[Related: Jimmy Haslam won’t have to rebuild these Browns]

Browns Fan Claims He Was Ejected for Standing in Dawg Pound

After the Cleveland Browns scored a touchdown in their preseason game this past Friday, a Browns fan named Jim Becker claims that he was reprimanded for standing in celebration and subsequently removed from the stadium, ultimately subjected to the league’s new conduct policy.

Becker’s first-person account states that, with the Browns trailing the Philadelphia Eagles 24-3, a fan roughly five rows behind he and his wife began getting restless when the Browns were on the verge of scoring, demanding that he remain seated. After the fan failed to obtain his desired outcome on his own, he sought the assistance of stadium security and the party in question was removed from the premises.

“Then the Browns scored a touchdown, so we all stood up to cheer and high five each other,” writes Becker. ” Big mistake.  Immediately, three police officers and 2-3 Tenable security guards came up to our seats to kick us out (all of us!), telling us that we had already been warned and that ‘fans’ had complained.”

Following the ejection, amidst a chorus of boos from those in the stands, Becker claims that his entire party were forced to hand over their tickets as well as identification for reporting purposes. It is not clear whether or not the reports were forwarded on to the team for any additional ramifications, including, but not limited, to a reported $150 fine and a class merely to retain ticket rights.

“I have never considered not being a Browns fan in my life until this past Friday,” writes Becker.  “I have been stupidly giving thousands of dollars away to a team that seems to have a mission to make it harder and harder to do so.  There is really no reason I can find to shell out hard-earned cash to attend the games in person.  The atmosphere has been subdued, the food and beer is incredibly overpriced, you can’t get cellular service at the stadium, and there is little to no information about other games (or stats about the game that is happening right in front of you) displayed in stadium.

“And oh yeah, god forbid you do something crazy like standing up and cheering.”

[Related: Browns Preseason Game #3: Winners and Losers]

While We’re Waiting… Browns Begin With Win, NFL Stadium Security, Omar Vizquel Wants to Manage

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

Quickly recapping the GLC victory: “Come on, Browns fans — don’t tell me I was the only one who had a goofy smile on their face when Jeff Wolfert’s 45-yard field goal sailed through the uprights to give Cleveland a 19-17 victory over the Detroit Lions in the Great Lakes Classic? The final score in preseason games usually don’t mean squat for judging the regular season, and the case was no different here.” [Chris Pokorny/Dawgs By Nature] [Read more...]

Cleveland Browns should build a roof and plan for Super Bowl L

According to PFT, the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys will both be bidding to host Super Bowl L in 2016. For those who aren’t good with Roman numerals, that means Super Bowl 50. We all know that the Browns have never appeared in a Super Bowl or hosted one. While we can’t guarantee that the Browns will ever compete in a Super Bowl, recent history with Indianapolis and Detroit hosting Super Bowls tells us that we could host one if we had a roof on the stadium. Much like Browns fans proved with Peyton Hillis’ Madden cover, we are a powerful group of people. Is it time that we finally controlled our own destiny and got a Super Bowl hosted in the city of Cleveland by building a roof?

I know this is always a controversial idea because Browns football is rooted in history of playing outdoors. Then again Browns football is also rooted in the history of the late 80s that also never produced a trip to the Super Bowl. As hard as we’ve rooted, the Lerner family hasn’t been able to deliver more than a single playoff game. So maybe it is time to take control of our own destiny and at least get in the running to host a Super Bowl. [Read more...]

Report: City of Cleveland to Give $5.8 Million to Browns

The Cleveland Browns have reportedly received word that the city of Cleveland will forward the team $5.8 million for requested stadium renovations. Thomas Ott of The Plain Dealer reports that Cleveland’s city council has approved a plan that will help provide an advance to be used to fix specific areas of the 12-year-old open air venue.

In a hearing, the Browns reportedly came armed with a detailed breakdown of money that has been spent on similar endeavors since the stadium’s erection back in 1999: $74 million contributed to the construction; $50 million paid for items such as escalators, a restaurant and team shop; $30 million spent on cleaning and other everyday maintenance; $2.9 million donated to community programs and sports facilities.

The city of Cleveland confirmed the need for renovations, but in their agreement of providing the advance, will rid the city of such obligations for the next seven years. At this point, the city would have to dip into sin tax funding (alcohol and tobacco) for an immediate needs.

The team’s initial request was met with plenty of disdain as the Cleveland Browns had just finished a 4-12 season, their worst since 2008. Following the initial release, it had been made public that the team was not asking for immediate funds as much as letting the city know that such repairs were in fact needed. At the very worst, it was merely another line item on the team’s never-ending list of public relations blunders.

[Related: Fair or Foul? City Of Cleveland Giving $5 Million to Renovate League Park]

WKYC: Chances of Cleveland-hosted Super Bowl Improving

Whether the argument against the city of Cleveland hosting a Super Bowl are rooted in weather or amenities, WKYC’s Eric Mansfield writes that the outlook for Cleveland Browns Stadium hosting the NFL’s annual big event may not be as bad as some say.

High marks for Indianapolis as the host of Super Bowl XLVI — a first for that city — may set the stage for other cities to have a shot at the NFL’s biggest prize. [...]

The league’s decision to host the 2014 game in New Jersey — a first with an outdoor stadium in a cold-weather town — could mean cities like Cleveland will eventually get stronger consideration.

Mansfield adds that the city’s accoutrements have increased handedly and will continue to do so with the construction and opening of the riverfront casino. Factor in attractions such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and the recently opened aquarium, and those within the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission feel that Cleveland could be a legitimate hosting city.

The 2016 Super Bowl (L) is widely speculated to be destined for one of the NFL’s founding cities — a list that includes Cleveland, OH.

[Related: Video: Betty White picks the Browns for Super Bowl XLVII]