Cleveland Browns Stadium
Cleveland Browns Stadium is a football stadium located at North Coast Harbor in Cleveland, Ohio, near the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It is the home of the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League. The stadium sits on 31 acres (13 ha) of land on the shores of Lake Erie and has a capacity of over 73,200. The normal use of the stadium is only for football; however, the stadium was built with a playing surface large enough to allow it to host international soccer matches.
Cleveland Browns Stadium sits on the former site of Cleveland Municipal Stadium, which housed the Browns before owner Art Modell deactivated the franchise and began a new one in Baltimore that became the Ravens. As part of the deal that reactivated Browns, the city of Cleveland tore down Cleveland Stadium after the 1996 season to make room for the new facility. Debris from the former stadium was submerged in Lake Erie and now serves as an artificial reef. Ground was broken on May 15, 1997, the stadium opened in July 1999.
The stadium is also home to the Dawg Pound, a section of bleacher seats whose occupants are commonly regarded as some of the most passionate in football. The first touchdown pass in the stadium was thrown by Tim Couch.
The stadium also hosts college football games. The Ohio Classic college football game was held there in both 2004 and 2005. In September 2006 it hosted the Bowling Green Falcons-Wisconsin Badgers game. In 2007 it was the site of the first Patriot Bowl, a season-opening game between Army and Akron. Boston College defeated Kent State in the second Patriot Bowl on August 30, 2008. In 2009 it hosted the Ohio State-Toledo game. The stadium is also used for concerts. During a July 14, 2007 concert by Kenny Chesney, broken plumbing lines resulted in many restrooms being closed during the concert.
The city chose not to sell the naming rights to the stadium itself; this is unorthodox for major American stadiums built in recent years. Instead, the naming rights to each of the facility’s four entrance gates were sold. The names of the gates are Cleveland Clinic Sports Health Gate located in the southwest corner, National City Gate located in the southeast corner, Steris Gate located in the northeast corner, and FirstEnergy Gate, located in the northwest corner of the stadium.
The West 3rd Street station of Cleveland’s Waterfront light rail line serves the stadium.