Cleveland Browns sale ends 51-year Jewish ownership

(JTA) – The sale of the Cleveland Browns ends 51 years of Jewish ownership of the National Football League team. 

The sale of the team to a group headed by truck-stop magnate Jimmy Haslam III was confirmed by the NFL Network on Thursday, according to the Cleveland Jewish News. The deal reportedly is worth more than $1 billion.

Randy Lerner had inherited the team after his father, Al, died in 2002. In 1996, Art Modell, who had purchased the team in 1961 for $4 million, moved his NFL franchise to Baltimore and had it renamed the Baltimore Ravens. 

In 1998, Al Lerner bought the rights to the Browns for $530 million.  

At Browns training camp in Berea, Ohio, the team’s president, Mike Holmgren, said the franchise will not leave the area a second time, according to the Cleveland Jewish News.

“It’s my understanding that from the get-go that’s been one of the stipulations, and both principals understand that,” he reportedly said. “The Cleveland Browns are not going anywhere.”

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