Agreement between the NFL, Cleveland

On Feb. 8, 1996, the NFL and the city of Cleveland announced the terms of a historic public-private partnership that continues the Browns franchise in Cleveland and guarantees a new state-of-the-art stadium for the Browns in Cleveland by 1999.

The agreement includes the following key points:

  • Cleveland Browns franchise: With the relocation of Art Modell’s NFL franchise to Baltimore in 1996, the Browns franchise will remain in Cleveland and will resume playing no later than the 1999 season. This team will be either an expansion franchise or an existing club from another city.

  • New Cleveland stadium: A new 72,000-seat stadium will be built in Cleveland, and the NFL will provide substantial funds for stadium construction costs. The new stadium will be owned by the city of Cleveland and will have a 30-year lease with the NFL franchise beginning in 1999.

  • Cleveland Browns logo, colors and heritage: The heritage and records, including the Browns’ name, logo, colors, history, playing records, trophies and memorabilia, will remain in Cleveland as property of the Cleveland Browns franchise.

  • Information from The Official 1996 NFL Record & Fact Book. Copyright © 1996 NFL.
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