Battle For The Cleveland Browns

Local groups go to war over who'll own the team

Sports-crazed Clevelanders were heartbroken when the Browns were unceremoniously uprooted in 1996, moved, and reborn as the Baltimore Ravens. The city's corporate elite launched a campaign for a new stadium--which the National Football League had demanded before approving a new Browns franchise. Local companies snapped up 94 luxury boxes at $125,000 apiece, and the NFL gave the go-ahead: On Aug. 21, 1999, the new Cleveland Browns are scheduled for their first kickoff.

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