FirstEnergy buys stadium naming rights, renamed FirstEnergy Stadium: Home of the Cleveland Browns
Tina Kaufmann, newsnet5.com
2:20 PM, Jan 15, 2013
5:19 PM, Jan 15, 2013
CLEVELAND - It's official. Cleveland Browns Stadium is now FirstEnergy Stadium: Home of the Cleveland Browns.
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and FirstEnergy CEO Tony Alexander made the announcement shortly after 2 p.m. on Tuesday.
"FirstEnergy and the Browns share a rich tradition. To better align our brands that can help FirstEnergy grow its customer base, but also highlight it in the national media as one of the region's leading companies," Alexander said. "The partnership is good for FirstEnergy, Cleveland and the Browns. I'm excited to be a part of it."
Haslam said FirstEnergy stepped up to the plate, showing interest in August when the team announced it was seeking naming rights.
"Something like this doesn't happen without a tremendous amount of work," Haslam said.
Emcee for the event Jim Donovan called the property "a precious plot of land, a piece of Cleveland history."
Haslam said the team and utility began working on the deal in late summer and finalized it late last year. He's open to what might happen for the stadium. "The best thing we can do is win and the fans will come."
In a news release, Mayor Frank Jackson said the new name won't change the most important thing: "Cleveland loves the Browns. The decision to sell naming rights is a business decision by the Browns' owner and he is within his rights to do so. I support his decision."
"Having a stadium naming rights deal in place was extremely important for us as we look toward the future, and it was just as imperative to accomplish this with a strong, regional company such as FirstEnergy," said Browns CEO Joe Banner.
Terms of the naming-rights agreement were not disclosed. The deal is contingent upon approval from Cleveland City Council. Once approved, the stadium will become the 23rd of 31 NFL venues to have entered into a naming rights deal.