When new Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III bought the team he promised that changes would be coming. Starting in 2013, Browns fans won’t even need to step inside the stadium to notice that a new era of the franchise has begun.
The Browns have sold the naming right of their stadium that neighbors both the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame and Lake Erie to FirstEnergy. The Akron-based company will be the Browns’ first corporate sponsor in team history. Next season, the Browns will play at “FirstEnergy Stadium”.
Haslam said, “This is a great day for all of us and it builds on the momentum we have experienced as we enter into a new era of Cleveland Browns Football.”
Haslam announced in August when the process of buying the team was at the forefront that he wanted the stadium to have naming rights and preferred it to be with a northeast Ohio company. The new owner will get both of his wishes with the team’s deal with FirstEnergy. The Browns and FirstEnergy have agreed to keep the terms of the agreement private.
The Browns’ home field was known as “Cleveland Browns Stadium” since 1999 when the franchise returned to the league and the stadium was built. Haslam, CEO Joe Banner and team president Alec Scheiner will next be in contact with architects to find ways to enhance the stadium for both team personnel and fans alike.
Official confirmation of the stadium’s namesake still needs to be passed by the City Counsel of Cleveland. The team is just two weeks into the 2013 off season and has already made two major announcements regarding the franchise.Last week, Cleveland hired Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski as head coach. Haslam said he wanted to make changes to the Browns and clearly wasn’t joking around.