Photo of Great American Ball Park and Cincinnati, Ohio.

Image Credit: Redlegsfan21 - Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

According to Cincinnati Bengals' Owner Mike Brown, Hamilton County taxpayers got a hell of a deal with the half cent increase to pay for Great American Ball Park and Paul Brown Stadium. This is a pretty bold statement from an owner who refuses to sell the stadium's naming rights which could be put towards Paul Brown Stadium's debt.

A large Cincinnati corporation such as Kroger could pay millions of dollars to the Bengals which would help cover the stadium's outstanding construction costs. In reality, both stadiums are in a deficit that is going to take some time and strategy to conquer. A proposed plan will possibly put the burden of paying for the stadiums onto the shoulders of those that actually attend Cincinnati Bengals and Cincinnati Reds games as well as other events held at both venues. Due to there only being 8 Bengals home games a year, Bengals season ticket holders could expect to see an increase in tickets prices by nearly 15% to help cover the stadium's debt. Cincinnati Reds fans, on the other hand, would likely not notice the imposed tax as much with 82 home baseball games played per season.

In order for such a plan to take place, Hamilton County voters would need to obtain more than 7K signatures that would get the proposed plan on November's ballot. The biggest obstacle thus far has been obtaining enough signatures for the petition. Those efforts are being headed by the County's Commissioner.

Sports fans in the Twin Cities, Oakland and Los Angeles had better hope their city officials are paying attention to the city of Cincinnati's debt dilemna with their two stadiums.  While I confess that I am a fan of both Cincinnati teams and dislike the notion of paying more for tickets that are already over-priced, the proposed plan seems a fairer approach for Hamilton County taxpayers.


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