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Proposed Cleveland Browns stadium renovations prompt funding questions

Ideastream Public Media
Ideastream Public Media

Changes are afoot on Cleveland's lakefront. Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam have spoken to city officials about plans for a new stadium, but have since changed their tune and seeking renovations to their current facility, to the tune of a billion dollars.

Back in 1999, the cost of the Browns stadium was about $285 million, and the percentage of that money that came from public funding was almost 75%.

Recently, Mayor Justin Bibb said in his State of the City address, “I’m no longer going to risk general new fund dollars for maintenance of a privately owned football franchise.”

So the question arises, who’s going to pay for it?

To put the costs into a broader perspective, researcher JC Bradbury, who studies the subject of stadium funding wrote that governments in the U.S. since 1960 have spent nearly $38 billion to construct stadiums for major sports teams.

Monday on the “Sound of Ideas”, we'll look at how cities choose to fund the building and upkeep of major sports stadiums.

Also during this hour, we'll bring you a conversation with Terry Kovel, the co-founder of an antiques empire, and one of Crain's Cleveland Business' "Eight Over 80" Honorees this year.

- Joe Scalzo, Sports Business Reporter, Crain's Cleveland Business
- Mark Rosentraub, PhD, The Bruce and Joan Bickner Endowed Professor of Sport Management; The University of Michigan
- Abbey Marshall, Government Reporter, Ideastream Public Media
- Terry Kovel, Founder, Kovel Antiques; "Eight Over 80" Honoree

Drew Maziasz is a coordinating producer for the "Sound of Ideas" and also serves as the show’s technical producer.