Building off its run to the Orange Bowl last season and increased popularity, the University of Cincinnati Athletic Department has approached the Bengals about using Paul Brown Stadium for some of its 2009 home games. UC proposed a financial arrangement similar to what other Big East rivals have worked out with their NFL counterparts, including the Buccaneers/South Florida and Steelers/University of Pittsburgh.
WhoDeyRevolution has learned from a high-level booster with knowledge of the negotiations that the Bengals would only let the Bearcats use PBS if they paid a rate that is over five times what the University of South Florida and University of Pittsburgh pay.
WhoDeyRevolution has also heard directly from a UC booster who has offered to pay in full for an indoor practice facility located at PBS (to be used by UC and the Bengals) if the Bengals offer the University a competitive lease offer. The Bengals have expressed that they have "zero interest" in paying for a practice facility at PBS or contributing to the one proposed at UC. The Bengals have rejected this offer unless UC pays over five times the going rate for use of the stadium.
According to high-level officials in the UC Athletic Department, the Bengals have expressed that they may be interested in occasionally renting UC's indoor facility but would pay none of the construction or development costs.
The Bengals refusal to offer UC a reasonable price for using PBS is compounded by the team's generous lease agreement with Hamilton County over the use, revenues and expenses associated with Paul Brown Stadium.
The lease agreement between the Bengals and Hamilton County give the team effective control over the stadium's use by other organizations.
Paul Brown Stadium was funded primarily by Hamilton County taxpayers. After paying rent for 10 years, the Bengals will be able to play rent-free in the stadium starting this year until 2026. Hamilton County must pay for any new technologies installed in 14 other NFL stadiums at PBS. While the Bengals pay for game-day operations (except in the last 9 years of the contract when the County pays for this too), stadium maintenance is covered by Hamilton County. In the last 9 years of the contract, the county will "pay the Bengals "for any and all expenses of any nature whatsoever incurred by the Team relating to the Stadium Complex for the immediately preceding lease year."
The Bengals control net revenues from all ticket sales, club seats, suite rentals, game-day parking, adversiting and concessions. They received $102M in NFL Revenue Sharing in 2008 from the NFL TV deal. According to Forbes Magazine, the Bengals had a 2007 present value of $941M, 21st in the NFL, with revenue of $205M and an operating income of 22.0M.