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CITY CLAIMS LATE PAYMENT TO BENGALS IS REDS' FAULT
Published March 14, 1995
The city of Cincinnati, told Sunday by Bengals GM Mike Brown that a late concession payment broke the lease between the football team and city, blamed the situation on late payments from the Reds. Brown said the city did not deliver about $168,000 of concession money by a February deadline, which city officials blamed on a change in the payment patterns of the Reds. City Council members were given a brief on Monday by the city solicitor's office that disputed the Bengals claim that the lease was violated. Councilman Dwight Tillery: "It appears that Mike is beginning to wage a campaign that will make him look deserving of walking away from the city of Cincinnati." Brown made comments Monday that his team was a "free agent" because of the lease problem. Both Baltimore and St. Louis were mentioned as possible sites for the team if they were to leave Cincinnati (Richard Green, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 3/14). STAND BY YOUR MAN: Brown "has the support of several NFL owners in his clash with the city." Patriots Owner Robert Kraft: "We're in a similar situation. If you can't do something about the situation you're in you have to look elsewhere." Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen agreed: "The landscape is littered with cities who have refused to accommodate teams with better facilities. Cities have to realize stadiums are becoming a very big factor. When a city closes its eyes, it runs the risk of losing its team" (Geoff Hobson, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 3/14). In St. Louis, FANS Inc. spokesperson Al Kerth joked: "We're committed to doing everything in our power to seeing the Rams through. What's Mike's number? Just kidding" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 3/14).