Seeking to silence any speculation that could have surfaced, Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown emphasized that the team has no plans to relocate in the coming years.
The Bengals and Hamilton County are engaged in a lease for Paul Brown Stadium that will expire in 2026. To this point, the two sides have not completed an extension, and Hamilton County recently floated the idea of FC Cincinnati using the stadium as part of its MLS expansion bid.
FC Cincinnati has since made progress in obtaining its own soccer-specific stadium, but in a November pitch for the club to use Paul Brown Stadium, Hamilton County Commission president Todd Portune alluded to the idea that the Bengals may leave the facility when their lease expires. Brown responded to this recently, saying that the team has no intention of leaving. More from The Cincinnati Enquirer:
Portune said in his comments that the Bengals have not indicated they would leave. But the county should prepare for the possibility.
“We’re going to work very hard to make sure the Bengals stay in Cincinnati and continue to play at Paul Brown Stadium,” Portune said. “In the event those naysayers, those downward looking individuals in terms of our future, that what they’re saying comes to pass, we cannot have, we should not have, a stadium on the riverfront, 65,000 seats, a half a billion dollars in cost, sitting empty without a tenant playing at that facility.”
When asked about this statement, Mike Brown criticized Portune’s comments as political theater.
“How the hell would he know whether we’re going to be here or not?” Brown said. “I plan to be here. I stayed here when I had the opportunity to move this team.”
The Bengals have played at Paul Brown Stadium since its opening in 2000.
Image courtesy Paul Brown Stadium.