An unidentified vandal went for a walk during the night hours Tuesday and damaged the football field at First Energy Stadium, home of the Cleveland Browns, the team and police said.
According to the team, an individual broke into the stadium and drove an unidentified vehicle onto the grass playing surface, causing “some surface damage”.
Weather news 5 tv spots from cleveland Show zigzag tire tracks that cover half of the field. The video shows the tire tread in a spiral pattern surrounding most of the western side of the field.
The team said it provided information to the Cleveland Police Department, who said it appeared someone jumped the fence and may have used a golf cart to cause the damage.
Dorothy Todd, the acting chief of police, confirmed to USA TODAY Wednesday that the department is investigating the incident but is still gathering information.
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As of Wednesday, no arrests have been announced in the case.
According to an incident report obtained by USA TODAY, police responded to a report of a burglary at the stadium around 9:20 a.m. on Tuesday.
After the officers arrived, he adds, investigators were sent out to the field to check fingerprints and video evidence was later collected from the scene.
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Brown said a grounds maintenance crew is repairing damage to the field ahead of Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay.
In a statement, Brown said, “We are proud of the strong ratings and reputation of our stadium surface. We have been in contact with the NFL regarding this matter and are confident after the repair our stadium will be ready for Sunday’s game.”
Cleveland spokeswoman Marie Zikfus told USA TODAY that the city is working with the Browns and law enforcement as they investigate this incident.
“We are delighted to know that the stadium will be ready for Sunday’s game,” Zekerfuss said in an email.
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On Wednesday, the vandalism drew a mixed response from Browns fans.
“It reminds me of a girl who was driving over her boyfriend’s car for being unfaithful — deep devotion went off the rails,” 44-year-old Jackie Weiner, a lifelong fan from Franklin, Tennessee, told USA TODAY.
“If you’re a Browns fan, I’m not sure why you would do something that makes Cleveland’s reputation worse,” said Marisa Gerassi, a 42-year-old Browns fan. “We already feel like we’re the most brunt of the jokes in the league.”
The Browns, who have lost six of their seven games, have played at Lakefront Stadium since returning as an expansion team in 1999.
Last week, the Browns’ game in Buffalo was moved to Detroit due to a snowstorm that dumped more than 6 feet of snow at the Bills’ home field in Orchard Park, New York.
Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers is set for 1:00 PM ET.
Contributing: The Associated Press.