SBD/July 10, 2012/Franchises

Bengals Draw Criticism From Fans Over $10 Admission For Preseason Pep Rally

After Bengals season-ticket holders were e-mailed a "special invitation" to a pep rally at the team's first-ever Cincinnati-based training camp that required purchasing a $10 ticket, negative reaction included blog WhoDeyRevolution posting, "It shows even when the Bengals try to reward their most loyal stakeholders, they can't resist squeezing out a few bucks," according to Janice Morse of the CINCINNATI ENQUIRER. Bengals Dir of Sales & Public Affairs Jeff Berding said that the blog's criticism is "akin to unnecessary roughness, considering that the Bengals organization will incur costs 'north of six figures' to pay for a local band, fireworks, security and other expenses." Berding: "I think most people think this is a pretty neat thing." Berding said that as of yesterday, the Bengals' ticket office "had received only one telephone call from someone complaining about the ticket charge." He added that the "complainer was the same person associated with the WhoDeyRevolution posting." But some negative fan comments about the fee were posted on the team's Facebook page. Berding acknowledged that because it is the first time such an event has been held, the Bengals organization "isn't quite sure what type of turnout or response they'll get." The e-mail invitation said that season-ticket holders are "entitled to purchase unlimited numbers of tickets to the event, which will include the entire Bengals team and also will make former Bengals available for autographs" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 7/10). Morse, in a separate piece wrote under the header, "Is Bengals Pep Rally Criticism Fair?" Morse received a number of reader and fan responses on the issue (CINCINNATI.com, 7/9). PROFOOTBALLTALK.com's Mike Florio wrote, "There are actually three certainties in life: death, taxes, and the Bengals accused of being cheap." The question is "whether there's a way to do this without soaking $10 out of everyone who attends." Especially since the franchise "has soaked millions out of the taxpayers in putting together one of the sweetest sweetheart deals that any NFL team enjoys" (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 7/9).
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