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Questions Surround Future Of Browns

Friday, July 27, 2012 at 6:30 PM

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The Browns' headquarters in Berea, Ohio (pic by Brian Bull)

While the sale isn't finalized, speculation abounds as to the fortunes - and future whereabouts - of the team.

James Haslam is the prospective buyer.  He owns more than 500 retail stores and travel centers around the country. The 55-year-old executive also has a minority ownership in the Pittsburgh Steelers.

That last fact has rattled some Browns fans, including Cecelia Jackson of Cleveland.

“You said he’s from Pittsburgh?  Could you take the harpoon out of my chest now?  Please!” cried Jackson, feigning a painful wound. “No, no….I’m…..I’m hurt, that’s not good, especially a Pittsburgh guy.  Hate the Steelers!  Get him outta here!”

Meanwhile, Darrel Kilgo, hopes that the Browns won’t be going anywhere.  He says the team already had some promise following its first-round NFL draft picks. 

“It’s kind of a disappointment if they move out and about, but gotta keep ourselves hopeful based on new adjustments and new players on the team, “ says Kilgo. “And hopefully the new owner invests in the city and takes it from there.”

The Browns’ team president, Mike Holmgren, said the deal is still being worked out, and he’s not sure when the sale will be finalized.  He adds that the Browns aren’t likely to leave Cleveland.

“It’s been my understanding from the get go that’s been one of the stipulations and both principals understand that.  The Cleveland Browns aren’t going anywhere.  The Cleveland Browns are Cleveland Browns and they’re going to stay.”

The Mayor’s office was quick to issue a statement today, reminding fans that there’s a 30-year lease through 2029 with Cleveland Browns Stadium.  It added that the city would pursue legal options if there was any attempt to break the lease.

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