Hamilton County On Hook For Bengals' $300,000 Instant Replay System
Hamilton County (Ohio) taxpayers are "buying the Bengals a $300,000 new instant replay system" after county commissioners voted 2-1 yesterday to make the purchase, according to a front-page piece by Sharon Coolidge of the CINCINNATI ENQUIRER. However, the commissioners voted for the replay equipment "only because their lawyers said they had to or risk being sued by the team." Under the team's lease, the county is "obligated to replace equipment in Paul Brown Stadium." The technology, "by the county’s own admission, is simply outdated." Commissioner Todd Portune -- the lone "no" vote against the video replay purchase -- used the discussion to "suggest the county stop making repairs and improvements to Paul Brown Stadium and that the county reform its lease" with the Bengals. He "simply wants a state court to reform the contract in a way that’s fair to county taxpayers -- something the law allows under certain circumstances." However, Board of County Commissioners President Greg Hartmann after the meeting said, "It’s just not in the county’s best interest to even talk about violating our lease obligation. Todd’s proposal violates the lease and could land us back in court." Coolidge notes the county "has twice sued the Bengals over its lease, which is considered lopsided in the team’s favor, and lost" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 7/28).