Night club and betting area among plans for Paul Brown Stadium revamp

A night club and a sports betting area are among the additions under consideration for the renovation of Paul Brown Stadium, home of the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals.

Local TV station WCPO has revealed details of documents from Ohio’s Hamilton County architecture firm Gensler, which list a number of options for the proposed redevelopment of the stadium. Hamilton County hired Gensler in September 2020 to assess the state of the stadium, which opened in August 2000, ahead of the Bengals’ current lease deal expiring in 2026.

Other aspects of the renovation could include cascading balconies, rooftop experiences, a “sky bridge” connecting upper concourses, and a larger scoreboard in the north end of the stadium. Plans are still at an early stage, with renderings for many of the proposals not yet available.

The documents also include more points of sale, seating options and sponsorship opportunities. A new market-style experience, named after Cincinnati’s Findlay Market, has also been proposed.

In a statement to WCPO, Hamilton County spokesperson Bridget Doherty said: “The Gensler presentation is a conceptual outline of ideas guiding the overall master planning process. None of these ideas are final. We expect the final master plan by the end of this year that incorporates the capital plan that was released publicly in April.”

In April, Gensler released the findings of a study which determined that Paul Brown Stadium is suitable to remain the long-term home of the Bengals but will require a minimum of $493m (£404m/€483m) in upgrades.

Gensler’s report found that unlike other NFL venues that are currently in the process of being replaced, Paul Brown Stadium is suitable for redevelopment. The firm looked into 15 different areas of the stadium and provided a suggested priority list and timeline for repairs.

Demetra Thornton, principal for Gensler, said at the time that Paul Brown Stadium was designed with improvements in mind – unlike Riverfront Stadium, the Bengals’ former home.

Paul Brown Stadium is one of three NFL venues without a naming-rights partner but reports last month suggested that the Bengals were close to signing a sponsor.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that the Bengals are working to sell the naming rights and have informed city and county officials to be prepared to move quickly on approvals, should they be needed.

Since opening in 2000, the stadium has been named in honour of the Bengals’ founder, Paul Brown. Should a deal be agreed, only the Green Bay Packers’ Lambeau Field and Chicago Bears’ Soldier Field will remain as NFL stadia without a naming-rights agreement.

Image: Rafik Wahba on Unsplash