With the Cincinnati Bengals lease up in 2026, Hamilton County is hiring two design firms to evaluate the future of Paul Brown Stadium, including what it might take to keep the facility relevant in today’s NFL.
Paul Brown Stadium is now on the older side when it comes to the age of NFL facilities, with 16 stadiums (or 17, depending on how you view Soldier Field and its 2003 overhaul) opening since Paul Brown Stadium opened in 2000. (There are currently 30 stadiums in the NFL, with two hosting two teams.) When the county and the Bengals begin discussing a new lease in coming years, both sides want to be prepared to address stadium upgrades in the context of a larger discussion of the lease and the future of Paul Brown Stadium.
So Hamilton County and the Bengals are splitting the $374,500 price tag for a study from Los Angeles-based Gensler Architecture and Cincinnati-based Elevar Design to determine the facility’s strengths and weaknesses. From the Cincinnati Enquirer:
The architects hired on Thursday will look at the condition, cost and obsolescence of every aspect of the stadium. The contract breaks it down into 15 different categories, including seating, technology, retail offerings, parking, security, concessions, interior and exterior design, playing surfaces and maintenance upkeep.
It’s expected to take four to six weeks for the final report, which will have both short-term and long-term needs, said County Administrator Jeff Aluotto.
“This is a good time to level set what is needed in the stadium, what we need to do to keep it relevant, keep the infrastructure up to speed, and keep it competitive with other stadiums in the league,” Aluotto said.
The stadium currently sports club seating as well as suites, but one area sure to be addressed will be group spaces overseeing the action, as well as a potential need for more retail spaces.
Image courtesy Paul Brown Stadium.
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