Bengals Ownership Seeking Tax Dollars For Cincinnati Stadium Upgrade

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The team’s lease with the county ends in 2026.

The National Football League’s Cincinnati Bengals’ franchise owners want  public money for additional renovations at the team’s home stadium and in exchange, the ownership is willing to extend its lease with Hamilton County, Ohio through 2031. The stadium is currently getting a $39 million upgrade. Bengals ownership and Hamilton County negotiators agree on one item though. The time has come for the city of Cincinnati and Hamilton County elected officials and Bengals’ ownership to discuss what the next step is in making sure Bengals’ football stays in Cincinnati beyond the expiration of the lease agreement that ties the team to Cincinnati through 2026. Will Cincinnati and Hamilton County agree to renovate the present facility? Will Cincinnati and Hamilton County build a new facility or will Bengals’ ownership look for greener pastures? It is too early in the stadium game to get a definitive answer but to quote Yogi Berra it is getting late early. Bengals’ ownership can opt out of a five-year lease extension to use the stadium in June 2025 and that could conceivably allow the business to look for another city to entice Bengals ownership to move.

There are not many cities capable of landing an NFL franchise at the moment. The NFL left Oakland, St. Louis and San Diego for various reasons but in Oakland and San Diego, it was a stadium problem. The National Football League is going through a cycle where numerous owners have sought public funding for either new or renovated stadiums. NFL owners in Baltimore, Buffalo and Nashville have secured public money for stadium projects. NFL owners in Chicago, Cleveland, Jacksonville and Kansas City are looking for taxpayers’ assistance to fund either building a new or renovated stadium. At one time going to the game was the selling point of sports but that does not seem to be the case anymore.

Evan Weiner’s books are available at iTunes – https://books.apple.com/us/author/evan-weiner/id595575191

Evan can be reached at evan_weiner@hotmail.com