The Cincinnati Bengals and Hamilton County have agreed to a revised Paul Brown Stadium deal, clearing the way for several new terms.
The Bengals are currently playing at Paul Brown Stadium on a lease that expires in 2026, with a pair of five-year options allowing for a potential extension to 2036. Discussions of a longer-term lease could take place down the road, but the Bengals and Hamilton County recently agreed to revise several terms within their Paul Brown Stadium agreement.
Under those terms, the Bengals will forgo an annual payment of $29.4 million from the county and cap money for future stadium improvements. For its part, the county will fund $6.3 million in capital repairs in 2019, $5.5 million in both 2020 and 2021, and then $5 million annually from 2022-2026. Furthermore, the team will give up an existing parking lot east of the stadium–allowing for the construction of a new Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra music venue–while the county purchases the Hilltop Ready Mixed Concrete site for parking. That purchase includes the right to develop an indoor practice facility on the site, which would be funded by the Bengals.
As noted, discussions of a longer-term lease could take place down the road, but for now the Bengals feel they have reached an agreement that benefits all parties involved. More from the Cincinnati Enquirer:
“At the end of the day, we think it’s a win-win-win,” Bengals Executive Vice President Katie Blackburn said in an exclusive interview with Cincinnati.com. “It’s supposed to be something that works well for us, the county, for Cincinnati. That’s hopefully what we achieved.”
They also hope they can achieve longevity in the city. But that’s still yet to unfold. This deal served as a bridge making everyone happy through the flip side of the new NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement getting negotiated in 2021.
There’s potential for a change in the allocation of revenues among teams as part of many other possibilities almost impossible to predict, much less base future financial decisions upon. Part of that includes a potential lockout as players search for guaranteed contracts and the billions upon billions in TV money that makes the league so profitable turn over to the next stage.
Extending the current lease will have to occur then. Discussions were had to ditch the rolling two-year options and find a longer extension during this process but didn’t finalize.
The lease agreement was originally struck in 1996, four years before the Bengals opened Paul Brown Stadium.
Image courtesy Paul Brown Stadium.