CLEVELAND — The Cleveland City Council unanimously approved the allocation of $12 million on Thursday afternoon for much-needed repairs at First Energy Stadium, including repairs to the stadium's electrical and plumbing infrastructure, as well as replacing pedestrian ramps.
Although the repairs aren't likely to have a profound impact on the fan experience on game days, the updates are required under the city's lease with the Browns, city officials said.
The proposed repairs also include the replacement of hot water tanks; the installation of chiller lines to the south end of the stadium; the replacement of compressors in walk-in coolers and freezers; the replacement of the stadium's lighting control system; the replacement of corroded fire sprinkler lines as well as the patching and replacing of structural and non-structural concrete.
"The City of Cleveland and the Browns, as part of their lease, require that the facility condition audit and assessment be done every five years. It's called a capital audit report. It's intended to satisfy the lease requirements," said Matthew Spronz, the city's capital projects director.
The recommended repairs stemmed from a capital repair audit that was completed and provided to Council in the fall. According to the lengthy report, First Energy Stadium is in good condition, considering its age and harsh climate.
Based on the assessment team’s observations, the Stadium is considered to be well maintained thus maximizing the useful service life of the various system that comprises a modern-day professional sports facility," the report stated.
"It should also be noted that the City and Browns have been pro-actively addressing issues via the implementation of annual repair/replacement program using available funding sources."
The report also outlined future repairs that could exceed $50 million over the next 10 years. Some of the repairs include the replacement of numerous seats in the lower bowl, which engineers rated to be in fair or poor condition. Further updates are needed to the stadium's broadcast and lighting facilities as well as its technology.
According to the report, as much as $33 million needs to be invested at the stadium in the next two to five years and another $35 million will need to be invested within the next six to 10 years.