This article was written by traveling sports fan Dan Brewer, and may contain affiliate links.
I love traveling to new cities to go to NFL games. I recently went on an NFL road trip to catch my very first Cleveland Browns game. In this post, I share everything you need to know to plan a trip to catch a Cleveland Browns game too.
The Cleveland Browns have been an integral part of the community since it was founded in 1944. Despite having won 8 league championships in their first 19 seasons (4 in the AAFL and 4 in the pre-merger NFL), they have struggled to find success as of late. But that doesn’t stop their passionate fans from filling the seats every Cleveland Browns game.
There’s good reason to be optimistic about the Cleveland Browns. With the recent signing of superstar quarterback Deshaun Watson, to compliment the strong running game led by Nick Chubb, the Cleveland Browns are on their way up. Now’s the time to get in on the fun and catch a Browns home game at the Cleveland Browns Stadium. This guide to attending a Cleveland Browns home game has everything you need to know for your first game.
No matter if you are coming to Cleveland on a boys road trip to see the Browns play, in town with the family, or on a business trip, you can’t miss going to a Browns game at Cleveland Browns Stadium to experience the excitement of an NFL game live, in person.
A DIY Cleveland Browns Tour Package
Why pay a premium to a travel agency, when it’s super easy to book your own sports trip to see a Cleveland Browns home game at Cleveland Browns Stadium. I’ve been booking my own sports road trips for over a decade and am excited to share with you how easy it is to go to an NFL game in Cleveland, Ohio!
My guide to attending a Cleveland Browns home game takes you through step-by-step everything you need to know to have an incredible sports road trip. I’ll guide you through how to get to Cleveland, where the Browns play, how to find great seats at Cleveland Browns Stadium, fun things to do in Cleveland and so much more.
Cleveland Browns Sports Road Trip Ideas
For my Cleveland Browns sports road trip, I started on a Saturday morning in Niagara Falls, Canada. After exploring this natural wonder of the world, I crossed the border into Buffalo and caught a Buffalo Sabres home game against the Chicago Blackhawks.
I explored the city of Buffalo on Sunday, before going to see a Buffalo Bills home game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football. I ended my sports road trip with a quick drive to see the Cleveland Browns play their Ohio rivals the Cincinnati Bengals on a special Halloween-edition Monday Night Football.
My sports road trip to Cleveland is only one of many possibilities. For example, you could match up tickets to a Browns game with tickets for the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA team. The Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse (the home of the Cav’s) is only 1 mile away from the Browns stadium.
If you don’t mind a little road trip, here are all the easy sports destinations within a five hour drive of Cleveland:
- Pittsburgh, PA: home of AFC North rivals Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL) and the Penguins (NHL) teams. (135 miles)
- Columbus, OH: home of the Columbus Blue Jackets NHL team. (142 miles)
- Detroit, MI: home of the Detroit Lions (NFL), Detroit Pistons (NBA) and Detroit Red Wings (NHL) teams. (173 miles)
- Buffalo, NY: home of the Buffalo Bills (NFL) and Buffalo Sabres (NHL) teams. (193 miles)
- Cincinnati, OH: home of AFC North rivals Cincinnati Bengals (NFL). (252 miles)
- Indianapolis, IN: home of the Indianapolis Colts (NFL) and Indiana Pacers (NBA). (319 miles)
How to Get to Cleveland, Ohio
Flying to Cleveland, OH
Browns fans flying to Cleveland will land at the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE). With 13 airlines flying into Cleveland, primarily from within the USA, it’s easy to find a good flight into Cleveland.
Located about 9 miles southwest of downtown Cleveland, it’s approximately a 15-20 minute drive from the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport to the Cleveland Browns Stadium. Given the central location of the Browns stadium, you may not need your own rental car.
Driving to Cleveland
Cleveland is a moderate-sized city with a population of approximately 2.2 million people. Cleveland has a good highway system, making it easy to get around by car. Granted, with over 67,000 Browns fans leaving the Cleveland Browns Stadium at the same time, the post-game traffic can get pretty congested.
If you are taking your own car on an NFL road trip to Cleveland, keep in mind you’ll need to find a hotel near the Cleveland Browns Stadium which offers parking. I provide recommendations on Cleveland Browns Stadium hotels below.
My sports road trip to Cleveland was part of a 5-day trip which started in Toronto. From there I visited Niagara Falls, Buffalo (for a Buffalo Sabres game and a Buffalo Bills game) before driving to Cleveland for a special halloween night Monday Night Football game. Despite having never visited Cleveland before, I had no issues driving around Cleveland.
Where do the Cleveland Browns Play?
The stadium where the Cleveland Browns play has a very interesting history. From 1945 to 1995, the Browns played their home games at the Cleveland Stadium (also commonly known as Cleveland Municipal Stadium). The Cleveland Stadium was demolished in 1996 & 97 after the team moved to Baltimore.
A fun fact about the Cleveland Stadium is that the post-demolition debris was sunk in Lake Erie and now serves as an artificial reef.
Cleveland Browns Stadium
The Cleveland Browns returned to the NFL in 1999 as a pseudo-expansion team. They were thrilled to call a brand-new stadium their home. Located in central Cleveland on the shores of Lake Erie, Browns fans go to home games at Cleveland Browns Stadium. With a seating capacity of 67,431 for NFL games, there is a great seat for everyone at the Cleveland Browns Stadium.
The Cleveland Browns Stadium was known as FirstEnergy Stadium from 2013 to April 2023.
Where is the Cleveland Browns Stadium?
The Cleveland Browns Stadium (until recently known as FirstEnergy Stadium) is located on the north end of downtown Cleveland, in-between Highway 2 and Lake Erie. Much of the area around the stadium is dedicated to parking, but there is a nice sidewalk leading in-between the stadium and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Is the Cleveland Browns Stadium in a Safe Neighborhood?
The Cleveland Browns Stadium is located in central Cleveland along the shores of Lake Erie. It’s a convenient location, but anytime you a sports stadium in a downtown environment, you’re going to have a higher risk of crime. In fact, according to CrimeGrade.org, the zip code around the Cleveland Browns Stadium is in the bottom 1% of all USA zip codes for safety.
That said, my experience at my first Cleveland Browns home game (a primetime game) was very enjoyable and, for what it’s worth, I felt safe the entire time. At the end of the game, I left the stadium with the bulk of the crowd. I was able to safely walk from the stadium to my rental car about 15 minutes away without any sign of trouble.
Yes, the safety statistics for the Cleveland Browns Stadium look bleak, but unless you are quite unlucky, you’re likely going to attend your first home game in Cleveland without incident. Improve your odds by finding a secure place to park your rental car nearby, or get a good hotel near the Cleveland Browns Stadium.
Cleveland Browns Stadium Parking
There’s an abundance of parking lots all around the Cleveland Browns Stadium, but these are for passholders only. Given this is your first Browns home game, this likely doesn’t apply to you.
The good news is that being so close to downtown Cleveland, there is plenty of paid parking in the parkades which serve the office workers during the week. Parking very close to the stadium costs as much as $60, but the price quickly drops to around $30 for much of the Browns parking around downtown Cleveland.
I paid $30 to park in a parkade about a 12 minute walk to the stadium.
One of the disadvantages of having a centrally located stadium is that it can lead to bad traffic jams exiting the stadium. Police are on hand to direct traffic, but budget a decent amount of time to drive back to your hotel.
Take the Train to Cleveland Browns Stadium
An alternative to stadium parking is to take one of the four rail lines operated by the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority. For the 2023-24 NFL season, you can take transit all the way to the stadium, but this may change. Consult the Cleveland Browns directions page for more details.
Choosing a Cleveland Browns Home Game
Cleveland Browns Schedule
Over the course of a full NFL season, the Cleveland Browns will play either 8 or 9 NFL home games at Cleveland Browns Stadium. In odd numbered years (2023, 2025, etc.) the Browns will play 9 regular season home games, while in the even numbered years (2022, 2024, etc.) the Browns will play 8 regular season home games.
The Cleveland Browns NFL home games will be scheduled as follows:
- Three of the Cleveland Browns home games each season will be against fellow AFC North division rivals (Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals).
- Two home games will be against teams from a specific division in the AFC Conference.
- One home game will be from a team in a different division in the AFC Conference (based on division rankings the previous season)
- Two home games will be against teams from a specific division in the NFC Conference
- The ‘ninth’ home game will be from a team in a different division in the NFC Conference (again, based on division rankings the previous season)
Best Cleveland Browns Games to Get Tickets For
With roughly 80 years of history, the Cleveland Browns have developed some intense rivalries over the years. Whenever one of the teams the Cleveland Browns have a rivalry with plays at Cleveland Browns Stadium, it’s virtually guaranteed to be an exciting game.
Games Against Division Rivals
The Cleveland Browns play in the AFC North division in the American Football Conference. There are three other teams in the AFC North including the Baltimore Ravens, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals.
Of their AFC North rivals, the Cleveland Browns biggest rival is the Pittsburgh Steelers. The longest running rivalry in the AFC, the Browns and Steelers have been battling it out since the 1950s. The Browns owned the Steelers for the first 20 years, winning over 75% of their games. The Steelers have since battled back and now hold the all-time series lead, including winning 6 Super Bowls along the way. Given these two cities are just 2 hours away, you can see why the Browns & Steelers rivalry is so intense.
A more recent rivalry was created in 1996, when Art Modell, the Cleveland Browns owner, announced he was moving to the team to Baltimore. When the Cleveland Browns rejoined the NFL in 1999, a natural rivalry was born. Adding insult to injury, the Ravens won their first (of two) Super Bowls in 2001. The Ravens have won roughly 75% of their games against Cleveland, leaving a pretty bad taste in the mouths of Browns fans.
A chance to see the Browns play their division rivals the Cincinnati Bengals on a Halloween edition of Monday Night Football is what drew me to visit Cleveland for my first game at FirstEnergy Stadium (as it was known at the time).
Games Against Legendary NFL Teams and Former Rivals
Who could pass up seeing the Browns play a legendary NFL team such as the Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys or the San Francisco 49’ers. A game against a current NFL powerhouse like the Kansas City Chiefs or the Philadelphia Eagles would also be memorable.
The Best Seats in Cleveland Browns Stadium
With a seating capacity in excess of 67,000, there’s a great seat in Cleveland Browns Stadium for everyone! Based on my experience in both this stadium, and many stadiums around the NFL, here are my recommendations to find the best seats for your Cleveland Browns home game:
It’s interesting to note that every single seat in the FirstEnergy Stadium is a proper seat, with a backrest. There are no bleacher-style seats anywhere in the Browns stadium, with the exception of the three sections, affectionately known as the Dawg pound.
Lower Bowl Between the 20 Yard Lines
Having bought many single game tickets at NFL stadiums around the league, I can tell you that the best seats for your first Browns home game are in the lower bowl, along the sidelines, between the 20-yard lines. Sitting in the lower bowl allows you to be close to the action, where you’ll actually feel the power of the tackles and witness the raw speed of the game.
In my experience, I find it best to sit in row 20 or higher. If you sit too close to the field, you’ll be turning your head a lot side-to-side. In addition, if you are too low, you risk having your view blocked by a mobile, elevated TV camera.
Yes, the Browns single game tickets in the lower bowl near the 50 yard line are going to be expensive, but if you can find room in your budget, they are worth it. Personally, I always free up room in my budget for better football tickets by skimping on my hotel room.
For my first Browns game at Cleveland Browns Stadium, I sat on the 32 yard line in Section 107. My seat was in row 12, which to be honest, felt a little too close to me. Don’t get me wrong – it was an amazing seat, but it would have been better a little higher up. I will mention, that even though the game was on Monday Night Football, with lots of TV cameras, my view was never obstructed by the sideline TV cameras.
Recommended Sections at Cleveland Browns Stadium for Lower Bowl Seats
- Sections 107 – 110 (north-west facing)
- Sections 132 – 135 (south-east facing)
Most Fun Seats – The Dawg Pound
The most famous area in the Cleveland Browns Stadium is the Dawg Pound, located in the end zone on the north-end end of the stadium. The passionate Browns fans in the Dawg Pound are known for their energy, noise levels and crazy Browns outfits.
The incredible fans are the primary reason the Dawg Pound is one of the most famous fan sections in the NFL. Remarkably, the price of seats in the Dawg Pound are not much greater than the equivalent seats in the opposite end zone.
Dawg Pound Sections
- Sections 118 – 122 (these are the rowdy bleacher seats)
- Sections 317 – 323 (these are normal seats – generally less rowdy)
Best Value Seats – Lower Bowl Corners
If you are looking for great seats for your first Browns game, but don’t want to break the bank, try getting a ticket in one of the lower bowl corner sections.
As with the lower bowl sideline tickets, try not to sit too close. If you are 20 rows or higher, you’ll enjoy an incredible view of the field and you’ll never have to move your head to follow the play.
The best part is that lower bowl corner seats at Cleveland Browns Stadium often sell for roughly half the price of the lower bowl sideline tickets.
Recommended Sections at Cleveland Browns Stadium for Lower Bowl Corner Seats
- Sections 101 – 102
- Sections 115 – 117
- Sections 124 – 127
- Sections 139 – 144
Upper Level – Between the 20’s
The upper level sideline tickets at Cleveland Browns Stadium also offer good value for your money. I’ve enjoyed sitting in the in the upper decks as you can see the plays develop more easily, and the atmosphere is often more fun than in the more expensive lower bowls.
If possible, I recommend sitting as low as possible in the upper deck, but avoid the first few rows as there is a safety bar running along the balcony which may partially obstruct your view. Despite being the highest seats in the stadium, every seat is a real seat, complete with a seatback.
Some fans may be interested in knowing that some of the upper seats on lake side have nice view of downtown Cleveland.
Seats in the upper level along the sidelines are often comparable in cost to the lower bowl corner seats, so pick your Browns tickets based on your personal preference.
Recommended Sections at Cleveland Browns Stadium for Upper Bowl Sideline Seats
- Sections 532 – 535
- Sections 507 – 510
Club Level – Between the 20’s
And finally, the club seats at Cleveland Browns Stadium are on the 300 level, which is the middle tier of the stadium. The club seats are typically the most expensive seats in the stadium. In my opinion, the benefits of the club levels seats (a wider, cushioned seat, indoor bathrooms, and premium food) do not justify the premium price you’ll pay to sit on this level. Unless you are trying to impress a business client, etc. I’d recommend one of the other sections I describe above.
How to Buy Cleveland Browns Tickets
Ticketmaster is the official ticket seller for the National Football League. Given the Browns have a season ticket waiting list with over 8,000 people on it, you’ll likely be looking for single game Browns tickets in the reseller market,
When I look for single game NFL tickets, I tend to jump between the three biggest resellers – Ticketmaster, StubHub and Vivid Seats. I have purchased from all three ticket platforms and don’t really have a preference. I browse all three to find the best seats I can find in my price range – then I simply buy them, regardless of which reseller it’s on.
Best Hotels for a Cleveland Browns Home Game
If, like me, you are attending a Cleveland Browns home game from out of town, you’ll need to find a good place to stay near the Cleveland Browns Stadium. I’ve done all the leg work for you and have written a full post about the best hotels near Cleveland Browns Stadium (I just haven’t published it yet). In the meantime, you can search for the best hotels near Cleveland Browns Stadium on Booking.com.
Regardless of your budget, I’m confident you’ll find a great place to stay for the Browns game. Just remember – skimp on the hotel and spend your money on better tickets instead!
Best Places to Eat near Cleveland Browns Stadium
As you’d expect, there are a cluster of restaurants near the stadium, especially as you start to wander into downtown Cleveland. The best restaurants near Cleveland Browns are:
- Blue Point Grille: A local institution, they fly in fresh seafood from both coasts daily.
- Taza – a Lebanese Grill: Delicious middle-eastern food in an elegant setting.
- Bar 32: Enjoy shareable food, while soaking in the views of the stadium and Lake Erie from the 32nd floor of the Hilton Cleveland Downtown Hotel.
- Marble Room Steaks and Raw Bar: If you are looking to treat yourself to a special dining experience on game day, treat yourself to a steak in this historic bank building.
Additional Info on Attending Cleveland Browns Home Games
How to Dress for a Cleveland Browns Home Game
The question of how to dress for a Cleveland Browns home game is a really tough one – especially for out-of-towners who need to pack for the game several days ahead of time.
Cleveland is one of the most northern NFL franchises, which means the weather can get COLD in Cleveland Browns Stadium! When the NFL season begins in September, the average daily high/low temperatures in Cleveland are 76° / 57° (24° / 14°C). As the regular season ends in January, the average daily high/low temperatures drop to a chilly 35° / 22° (2° / -6°C).
The key to dressing for a Cleveland Browns home game is to dress in layers:
- Wear a base layer to wick moisture away from your skin.
- Your middle layer is designed to retain your body heat
- Your outer layer should protect your from the wind, rain and snow.
REI has an excellent guide to dressing in layers which will help you properly dress for a Browns game, no matter the weather.
Cleveland Browns Stadium Guide
In this guide to attending a Cleveland Browns home game at Highmark Stadium, I’ve included all the major details to ensure you have the best sports road trip ever. Stadium policies are changing all the time, so rather than list them here, take a few minutes to review the the Cleveland Browns Stadium “Know Before You Go“ guide
This handy stadium guide explains:
- The bag policy.
- Approved cold weather items.
- Cashless stadium policy.
Cleveland Browns Stadium Map and Seating Chart
Before you go to your first Cleveland Browns home game, take some time to look at the Cleveland Browns Stadium map and seating chart. A variety of useful Cleveland Browns Stadium maps are found on the team’s website, including a very useful virtual seating map.
Cleveland Browns Mobile App
Downloading the Cleveland Browns mobile app is a must prior to your first game at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Not only can you access your mobile tickets on game day, you’ll have access to a wealth of information about the Cleveland Browns and their stadium. As a first-time visitor to Cleveland Browns Stadium, I found the Browns app invaluable.
Best Things to do in Buffalo on Game Days
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Without question, the best thing to do in Cleveland before a Browns game is the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Conveniently located just a few minutes away from the Browns Stadium, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has a mind-blowing collection of musical history spread out over 6 floors. There are large exhibits dedicated to some of the legends of rock, such as Elvis, Beatles and the Rolling Stones, but there’s a massive amount of displays which feature memorabilia from other legendary rock acts as well.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is more than just memorabilia though, as it does an awesome job with the audio-video exhibits. There’s countless TV screens throughout the museum which educate visitors on a particular time in rock & roll or a new genre of music that was bursting on the scenes.
My favorite part of my visit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was the Power of Rock Experience, which is a 15 minute film shown in a theater – the sound system is so good, your whole body vibrates! The film features the star-studded highlights of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee ceremonies over the years.
Watch Cleveland Browns Players Enter the Stadium
As I was walking around the stadium before the Browns home game, I stumbled across a large crowd of excited fans. Turns out they were gathered to watch the Cleveland Browns players get transported on little carts from their cars to the players entrance to the stadium. I stayed to watch several players pass by – it was pretty exciting!
In my excitement, I didn’t jot down the exact location (sorry!), but I believe it was on W 3rd Street, near the eastern side of the stadium
Whenever I visit a new city for an NFL game, I’m always super jealous of the fans who live in the city who can set up shop and tailgate for hours before a game. The great news for out-of-town NFL fans is they can also have a pre-game Cleveland Browns tailgating experience.
The Browns VIP Tailgate throws an all-inclusive tailgating party at the Great Lakes Science Center, just minutes from the stadium. This Cleveland Browns tailgating party is inside and features 3 bars and plenty of seating.
With everything included, you can help yourself to as many pre-game beers as possible. The tailgating food is good too, with food created by Food TV chefs.
I skipped the Cleveland Browns tailgating party to go to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but I went to similar party before the Bills game and had a great time.
Explore Downtown Cleveland
I love randomly exploring the city streets before an NFL game, especially when the stadium is nearby. When you explore a city on foot, you get to see its top landmarks, but more importantly, you get to feel the vibe of the city. Fans will be walking the streets, jerseys on, excitedly talking about the game.
The spot I liked best while exploring downtown Cleveland on foot was E 4th Street – it’s a small pedestrian only street near the Rocket Mortgage Field (home of the Cleveland Cavaliers) packed with bars, restaurants and shopping.
If you’re a stadium freak like me, you can get excellent view of Cleveland Browns Stadium from the city park across the street from the second floor balcony of the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland.
Get Your Cleveland Browns Gear
Attending a Cleveland Browns home game is way more fun when you are wearing team gear along with the rest of the local fans. For officially licenced Cleveland Browns gear, be sure to check out the massive selection at NFLShop.com. You’re sure to find the perfect gear to wear to your first Cleveland Browns home game!
I make every effort to keep my pages current. If you are aware of inaccurate or outdated information, please let me know and I’ll update it ASAP!