Photo of Paul Brown Stadium from across the Ohio River in Covington, Kentucky.

Image Credit: Todd Evans (CC BY 2.0)

The Cincinnati Bengals have been playing their home games at Paul Brown Stadium on Cincinnati’s riverfront since 2000. Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown and family have agreed to several provisions to the team’s original lease for Hamilton County-owned Paul Brown Stadium. The changes to the Bengals’ lease with Paul Brown Stadium will include the following.

  • Hamilton County has agreed to purchase a 15-acre parking lot west of the Paul Brown Stadium that will provide football fans with 1700-1900 parking spaces for tailgating. The Cincinnati Bengals will keep all revenue generated from the parking lots on game days.
  • The Cincinnati Bengals will forfeit Lot 27, which sits East of Paul Brown Stadium. The lot will be converted into an indoor/outdoor music venue designed by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. CSO/MEMI will oversee the development of the 4,000 seat music venue which is expected to open in spring 2020.
  • Hamilton County will no longer pay the Cincinnati Bengals $29.4M annually in reimbursements for operational costs. In return, the Bengals will assume the right to build an indoor practice facility adjacent to Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals will hire a design firm to evaluate the improvements Paul Brown Stadium could make in the future to enhance the gameday experience for football fans.
  • The Cincinnati Bengals will provide Hamilton County with more leeway in how it develops other sites that will be built at The Banks in the future.

The riverfront music venue is expected to host more than 150 events annually which would draw more than 300,000 visitors. The Cincinnati Bengals plan to utilize the concert venue with pregame concerts and other gameday events. The inspiration for the music venue likely came from Stage AE in Pittsburgh which sits near PNC Park (Pittsburgh Pirates) and Heinz Field (Pittsburgh Steelers).

The team and Hamilton County will continue to work together to allocate money for improvements and capital repairs to Paul Brown Stadium. The amount of money Hamilton County will contribute to Paul Brown Stadium for improvements through 2026 has been capped at $42.3M. Hamilton County will spend $6.3M on repairs to Paul Brown Stadium in 2019 and will include the following projects.

  • New carpet and roofing
  • Replacement of the playing field
  • Repainting of steel structures throughout the stadium grounds
  • New WIFI and stadium speakers
  • Security improvements

Before the construction of Paul Brown Stadium and Great American Ball Park (home of the Cincinnati Reds) Cincinnati’s riverfront area was desolate and undeveloped. The two stadiums and The Banks mixed-use development have completely changed the landscape of not only the riverfront area but also for downtown Cincinnati.


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