Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - NFL owners have approved the sale of the Cleveland Browns to a group led by Jimmy Haslam.
Haslam's group purchased 70 percent of the franchise from Randy Lerner in early August for a price reportedly in excess of $1 billion. Lerner, whose father Al was awarded the franchise in 1999 when the Browns returned to the NFL as an expansion club, will still own a 30 percent stake.
NFL owners, meeting in Chicago, unanimously approved the transaction on Tuesday.
Haslam had been the CEO of Pilot Flying J Corporation, the nation's largest retail operator of travel centers and truck stops. He relinquished the daily operations role and is now the chairman of the company.
The Lerners helped bring football back to northeast Ohio after the original Browns were moved by Art Modell to Baltimore following the 1995 campaign. The club's name and history, however, remained with the city and were restored when the Browns again began play in 1999.