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Volume 24 No. 179
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Hamilton County Says It Has No Intention Of Paying For Paul Brown Stadium Expenses

Hamilton County (OH) Commissioner Todd Portune on Monday said that the county has "no intention of fulfilling a provision in its lease" with the Bengals for Paul Brown Stadium to provide $2.67M in stadium expenses, according to Chris Wetterich of the CINCINNATI BUSINESS COURIER. The lease "calls for the game-day reimbursements to increase" by 5% annually through '26. The Bengals have "two five-year extensions the team can exercise," extending the lease through '36. The county "would not pay game-day expenses if the lease is extended." Under the provision, the county would owe the team nearly $30M "over the final nine years of the lease." The county had a legal opinion drafted "saying the lease provision is illegal" and therefore "not a valid part of the lease." Portune added that county administrators "never have included the payments in their projections for the Paul Brown Stadium fund." But the Bengals "maintain that the lease is legal and the payment is owed." Wetterich noted Portune has "long fought the Bengals" over the '97 stadium lease. County commissioners "recently cut a quarter of the money set to be returned to county property taxpayers" as a part of the '96 stadium sales tax (BIZJOURNALS.com, 12/11).