A break-in occurred at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland early Tuesday last week, as at least one individual in an unknown vehicle trespassed and did significant damage to the turf on the field. Police in the city are investigating.


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The trespasser’s ride around the stadium reportedly involved several donuts and trips from the 20-yard line down the entire field. Authorities told a local news network that they believed an individual got into the stadium on foot and stole a golf cart upon entering. Grounds crews at the stadium had five days to repair the field in time for the Browns’ game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

“We are aware of the incident that occurred early Tuesday morning at FirstEnergy Stadium and have provided the Cleveland Division of Police with all relevant information,” the Browns said in a statement Tuesday. “Based on our internal evaluation, there was some superficial damage to the playing field that our grounds maintenance team is currently working to repair. We take great pride in the strong reviews and reputation of our stadium’s playing surface, have been in touch with the NFL on the matter and are confident after repair [that] our field will be ready for Sunday’s game vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.”

Cleveland’s most recent on-field incident is one of many setbacks for the Browns, who have underperformed in a 3-7 season. The return of quarterback Deshaun Watson following a 12-week suspension for sexual assault allegations will do little to turn things around in a short timeframe.

If not for the team’s game last weekend, there would not be as much urgency to have the field ready, as the Browns do not host another game in their home stadium until Dec. 18. The stadium is also used for hockey events, but these do not take place until February.

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