Updated 8:25 p.m. ET on Thursday, Aug. 2
The Browns have been sold for more than $1 billion, ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported. The Browns confirmed the sale later Thursday afternoon.
Randy Lerner sold the club to Jimmy Haslam. The first phase of the sale is for more than $700 million, and the second phase will be more than $300 million.
Haslam, the president and CEO of Pilot Flying J, will have controlling interest in the franchise. He has been a minority investor with the Steelers.
“This is a very exciting time for my family and me,” said Haslam. “To own such a storied franchise as the Cleveland Browns, with its rich tradition and history, is a dream come true. We are committed to keeping the team in Cleveland and seeing it get back to the elite of the NFL – something all Browns fans want and deserve. We plan to bring relentless dedication and hard work to every aspect of this organization, and we look forward to getting to know this team and community as quickly as possible. Our family is committed to becoming an integral part of the Cleveland community. We also want to thank Randy Lerner for his friendship, counsel and support during this process.”
Owners are expected to approve the purchase at their meeting in October. Former Eagles president Joe Banner will join Haslam in Cleveland when the sale is approved by the owners, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.