CLEVELAND - While Browns fans enjoyed a win over Cincinnati Sunday in 70 degree weather, they realized that the rise in temperature will not last long. Winter is right around the corner.
Architects at Ralph Tyler Companies in Cleveland came up with a dome idea for Cleveland Browns Stadium to protect fans from the elements and help the facility get more use.
"The advantage of this approach is that it doesn't require any alterations to the existing stadium," said Ralph Tyler Companies Director of Architecture Geoffrey Varga. "It's still an outdoor facility."
Ralph Tyler Companies came up with a glass covered, geodesic dome concept that would not require additional heating and cooling. The dome covering would be 1,100 feet in diameter and 380 feet high. It encapsulates the stadium without ever coming in contact with it. The covering would help moderate the inside temperature.
"It's open around the base and would allow fresh air to come in and it would allow heated air to be extracted near the top," said Varga. "People would have to dress for the normal weather conditions. However, you're not going to be rained on and you're not going to be snowed on but if it was winter, you would wear winter clothes."
Cutting edge engineering would be used to construct the geodesic dome, one that would be the largest of its kind in the world.
While weather conditions in the dome may not be suitable for a NCAA Final Four, Varga believed Cleveland could host a Super Bowl and that concerts and other events could be held at least nine months out of the year.
Architects, engineers and management at Ralph Tyler Companies hoped new Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslem liked the idea.
"We're hoping that he might get in contact with us. We'll promote this to some degree and make ourselves available," said Varga.
Browns fans tailgating in the muni lot Sunday were shown pictures of the geodesic dome and gave their opinions on the idea.
"I think that's part of the attraction about Cleveland Browns football," said Tom Sweeney of Bay Village. "We don't need a dome. We want weather."
"I like the idea," said Victor Perez of Cleveland. "I thought it should have been implemented when they first built the stadium."
While the dome would not be retractable, the field would be able to remain natural grass. Architects had no cost amount for the dome, due to the fact that the project was in a preliminary phase.