35th Anniversary: The Houses that We Built

Nostalgia aside, the Richfield Coliseum and Municipal Stadium weren’t the best places to watch pro ball. In the ’90s, we finally got some new homes for the Indians, Cavs and Browns — and at long last, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

Jacobs Field
April 1994

“Sometimes it’s real disheartening,” says Indians pitcher Charles Nagy. “Ten thousand people is not even a drop in the bucket [in Municipal Stadium]. That’s when you just have to concentrate more on your game.”
— “Tough Love,” by Lee Melius, Oct. 1992
Gateway is the most visible symbol of civic resurrection that, in a little more than a decade, has changed Cleveland from the butt of a national joke to a municipal role model for others to emulate. 
— “Your Ultimate Guide to Gateway,” by William Troy, City Guide 1994
Gund Arena
October 1994

Crowds of party-goers — most of the men in rented tuxedos — were climbing up the steep embankment. We looked like waiters escaping from the Catskills. Gradually, it dawned on us that it was absurd to play basketball in the country. But it was too late. The Coliseum perches out there on the moor like Heathcliff’s ghost. It is the most graphic reminder of that period of time when Cleveland had given up on itself. What if it had been built downtown? We’d love it. 
— “What If ...,” by Dick Feagler, Dec. 1987
The sports arena, with 41 home playing dates for the Cleveland Cavaliers, is looking to host about “200 events in its first year,” [former Gateway director Tom] Chema says, “with a maximum of 250 as the years go along.” It’s no stretch of the imagination to believe the whole complex could attract more than 6 million people annually. 
— “Your Ultimate Guide to Gateway,” by William Troy, City Guide 1994

The Rock Hall
September 1995

It’s over, folks. Dead. Kaput. Finis. Down the tubes. The time has come for Clevelanders to finally let go and start pinning our hopes for greatness on some other dream. Trust me on this: The Rock Hall ain’t gonna happen — not in our lifetime, anyway. 
— “R.I.P., Rock Hall,” by David Sowd, Feb. 1993
For some fans, artists and music-industry insiders, seeing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum on the shores of Lake Erie is an event comparable to a real Elvis sighting. 
— “House that Rock Built,” by Lynne Thompson, City Guide 1995

Browns Stadium
August 1999

“I was interested in building [in Strongsville] because I thought we were operating here under a climate of decadence in the Stadium and felt somewhat frustrated in dealing with the city fathers to do certain things, and I thought it was time for me to pursue the possibility of building a stadium for football only.” 
— “Conversation with Art Modell, Cleveland Browns Owner” by Michael D. Roberts, Nov. 1974
Even if the Browns’ inaugural season doesn’t get rave reviews, one thing is certain: Clevelanders are going to see football in a way they never could have imagined at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. “This Cleveland Browns Stadium is pretty special,” says CEO Carmen Policy. 
— “Field of Dreams,” by Fred Steiner, City Guide 1999
Share this story: