Weekend Entertainment: A New Cincinnati Bengals Stadium Is Not Needed

But the present stadium needs major upgrades.

The city of Cincinnati, Hamilton County and the ownership of the National Football League’s Cincinnati Bengals have a starting point in the stadium lease negotiations. If the three sides agree, there will be a renovation of the Bengals home that opened up on August 19th, 2000. The football team’s lease ends in 2026 so time is becoming short in stadium game negotiations. If there is any positive news for the two government entities, the stadium is in good shape but it is outdated by 2022 NFL standards. The stadium, though, needs about an estimated $493 million in upgrades and maintenance over the next 20 years, according to Demetra Thornton, of the architectural firm that has reviewed the stadium’s structure. The nearly half billion dollars would go to repairs, maintenance, upgrades to lighting and elevators, technology and other improvements.

“The original design was meant to be expanded,” Thornton said. “We learned from Riverfront (Stadium, the one-time home of the Bengals and Major League Baseball’s Cincinnati Reds). I don’t want this building to be imploded. I want it to stand the test of time. Bengals ownership seemed happy with the summary but there is a long way to go before the stadium gets rebuilt. The team put out a  statement. “The condition reflects the care and attention that the Bengals and Hamilton County have taken in maintaining the building to protect the taxpayers investment. Because of that, it looks like Paul Brown Stadium can continue to be our home for decades to come at far less cost than seen elsewhere.” The key word there is can because at this point no one knows the real cost of a stadium upgrade, who will be paying for the upgrades and how long the Bengals’ ownership wants to commit to playing in a rebuilt facility. The Cincinnati stadium game has started.

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Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) holds the Lamar Hunt trophy after an AFC championship NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. The Bengals won 27-24 in overtime. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)