Browns Owners Team with Cleveland Public Schools to Returf Fields
The owners of the Cleveland Browns announced today that the team will fund the installation of synthetic turf on five of the Cleveland public school’s worst athletic fields. The project is the latest effort by Jimmy and Dee Haslam to improve educational opportunities for the city’s youth.
Jimmy Haslam says he and his wife have started high school athletic field renovations in their home state of Tennessee, before doing the same here in Cleveland. Haslam says the projects were spurred by Cleveland Metropolitan School District CEO Eric Gordon who convinced them that improving sports will improve education.
“Extracurricular activities including athletics, make a huge difference in attendance. That sold us on doing it in Tennessee and obviously encouraged us to do it here. We are firm believers in education, we believe it is the best way to help young people. And hopefully this gift will encourage more people to play sports.”
Two of the new Cleveland fields will be ready for football this fall, two others next season, and the completion date of the fifth field is still being determined. Haslam stresses that the fields will also be used for soccer and other youth activities.