Bengals Ask County For Sole Ownership Of Naming Rights To Paul Brown Stadium
The Bengals have asked Hamilton County (Ohio) taxpayers "for sole ownership of the naming rights to Paul Brown Stadium," according to Sharon Coolidge of the CINCINNATI ENQUIRER. The team "already would get most of the money from any naming rights deal," and "just proposing the idea has caused Hamilton County commissioners to bristle." The naming rights "have long been said to be worth little to the county because the team’s lease outlines a complicated profit-sharing formula that gives the county less money from a naming rights deal as time goes on." Any money the county could get "would help the ailing sales tax fund that pays for the county’s riverfront stadiums." Bengals attorney Stuart Dornette said that the team is talking with the county about a "number of issues," including how to pay for a $10M scoreboard that the county is required to buy under the lease. He added that there is "no naming rights deal in the works," but that the team "wants the rights because doing a deal would be simpler with one party." Coolidge notes the request "stemmed from Bengals concerns over the county violating agreements" about the height of apartment buildings at The Banks riverfront development. The Bengals "saw the naming rights as a bargaining chip." Hamilton County Board of Commissioners President Chris Monzel said, "The naming rights belong to taxpayers. I won’t just give them away. They must have value." Commissioner Greg Hartmann said he "couldn’t believe it when he saw the letter." He added the Bengals "have consistently tried to take advantage of taxpayers at every turn" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 1/22).