The Browns’ first game is here at home and there is new optimism and some new experiences in store for fans inside the stadium.
It will be the battle of Ohio.
The Cleveland Browns take on the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday afternoon.
“I think the Browns will win the division this year,” said Browns fan Jason Darwish.
There are high hopes for a winning season as Browns fans get ready for the team’s Sunday home opener.
“For the first time in a long time, I’m very excited. … I like that the schedule is front-loaded this season — a lot of home tailgates early, nice weather tailgates; and we have Deshaun for a full season. We have a decked out roster, so I have high expectations,” said Darwish.
Darwish is one of 24 members of a fan group called “The Browns Bunch.” This is the 19th year. The friends will join hundreds of other faithful fans to party in the Muni Lot downtown, even hours before kickoff.
“It’s a party on pavement. … We have a good time,” said Danny Clarke, another Browns Bunch member.
Rules for the Muni Lot are pretty much the same as before.
They include allowing only propane grills, no alcohol, no “in and out” privileges and no private latrines.
On Thursday evening, crews were making final preparations as Cleveland Browns Stadium gets ready to welcome fans on Sunday.
The view from SkyFOX shows the field is painted and ready for football.
Fans will see a few changes this season:
Expanded express access: More lines will use facial recognition, making it more convenient for people who use it to get in. Fans can enroll several ways, including the Browns app or website. Just take a selfie, register it and walk right in.
Concession payments: Browns stadium is cashless. This year, every concession stand will accept Apple Pay and Tap & Go.
Luxury field seats: Along the end zones and the sidelines, seats are available, located almost right up next to the field.
“I live in Parma. I can’t afford those,” Clarke said in jest.
For the first time in several years, the Waterfront Rapid Line from Tower City to the West 3rd Street will be open. The line will only be open on days there’s a Browns home game.
“We have all the tools in place. … We’re ready to go,” Clarke said.
A reminder of items that you cannot bring into the stadium: explosives or weapons; drones; purses; coolers; or any type of luggage.
Fans can bring clear bags of a certain size or small cloth bags that are about the size of your hand.