No Place Like Home: Bengals Among 19 NFL Teams Holding Camp At Home Facility
The Bengals today open training camp at Paul Brown Stadium, holding camp at "their own facility" for the "first time in their 45 seasons," according to Joe Reedy of the CINCINNATI ENQUIRER. The team held camp at Georgetown College (Ky.) from '97 until last season. The Bengals are "one of 19 teams this year holding training camp at their own facilities." That number "has increased steadily since 2000 as teams have realized that going away is more of a challenge than a benefit." Bengals Exec VP Katie Blackburn said, "There’s more technology, which makes picking up and going away for two to three weeks difficult along with everything else you have to move.” Having camp in Cincinnati "also has other benefits." The conference center at Georgetown "was cramped," while the facilities at Paul Brown Stadium "provide more space and separate meeting rooms for the offense and defense." The "biggest challenge" for the Bengals in planning for camp in Cincinnati was "how to keep the training camp experience fan-friendly." There is a "limited amount of room at the team's facilities compared to the space around the practice fields in Georgetown." The Bengals "will have 16 practices open to the public, with 11 on practice fields." Another key was "scheduling practices that did not interfere with Reds games." During training camp, the Reds "will have 14 home games, including a seven-game homestand that starts on Monday." There is "only one conflict," an Aug. 18 Cubs-Reds doubleheader. With the Reds "in the thick of a pennant race" and the Bengals training in Cincinnati, both clubs "have teamed up to promote attending both events" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 7/26).