FirstEnergy Stadium is a multi-purpose arena in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, and home for the Cleveland Browns NFL team. It also hosts high school and college football games, as well as soccer and concerts.
It first opened in 1999 as the Cleveland Browns Stadium and has undergone a couple of renovations since then. The current seating capacity is 67,895.
History of the FirstEnergy Stadium
FirstEnergy Stadium was built on the same site as the previous Cleveland Stadium that was originally built in 1931 and was the home stadium for the Browns between 1946 and 1995. Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell announced during the 1995 season that the franchise was planning to move to Baltimore. This led to legal action between Browns season ticket holders and the city of Cleveland.
Eventually, there was an agreement that Modell would leave the Browns’ colours, history, and name in the city. The city then agreed to build a new stadium using sin tax funds. The Browns organization was reactivated in 1999, with demolition work on the FirstEnergy Stadium starting in November 1996 and finishing in the early part of 1997. Some of the debris from the older stadium was submerged in Lake Erie and now acts as an artificial reef.
Once the old stadium had been fully demolished, development of the new one was able to begin in May 1997. Construction was completed by July 1999 and the first game took place the following month, between the Minnesota Vikings and the Browns. Many fans call the FirstEnergy Stadium the “Factory of Sadness” as a result of the team’s poor performances in recent years.
To date, the FirstEnergy Stadium is the only stadium in the NFL that has never hosted any form of a postseason game. The Browns are also one of the four teams – along with the New York Jets, Detroit Lions, and the Atlanta Falcons – that have not played a home playoff game at their stadium. However, each of these other teams’ stadiums has hosted a Super Bowl.
The makeup of the FirstEnergy Stadium
The FirstEnergy Stadium, a glass and concrete structure, has a Kentucky Bluegrass playing surface, with undersoil heating. This means that the field will not freeze and there can be a more extensive turf growing season. The playing field is big enough to host international soccer games.
The first set of renovations at FirstEnergy Stadium began in 2013. The two-phase plan saw improvements to the audio systems, addition of new scoreboards and more seating. Renovations were carried out in the off seasons of 2014 and 2015. The entire cost for the renovations was about $120 million, with the city of Cleveland covering $30 million of this sum.
Other events at FirstEnergy Stadium
Over the years, there have been several notable college football games taking place at the FirstEnergy Stadium. This includes hosting the Ohio Classic and Patriot Bowl. There are also a number of high school games that take place at the arena every year.
The stadium now and then hosts international soccer games for the men’s and women's national teams. There have also been concerts held at FirstEnergy Stadium, including the following notable acts:
- Beyonce & Jay Z
- Taylor Swift.
The Cleveland Browns date back to 1946 when they played their first season in the American Football League (AFL). The team currently plays in the AFC North division and it has not won a divisional title since 1989. The organization has struggled to make it to the postseason, only doing so once since 1994. Over the years, some of the most notable Browns players include Otto Graham, Jim Brown, Paul Warfield, Ozzie Newsome, and Mac Speedie.
Betting on games at the FirstEnergy Stadium
If you are looking to bet on games at FirstEnergy Stadium, you need to be ready for plenty of ups and downs. The Browns can blow hot and cold, so there will be plenty of betting opportunities on offer. To see the best football betting sites, you can head on over to Roger.com and see what sites are the best fit for your needs.