On Wednesday we wrote that Hamilton County declined a vote on a $300,000 upgrade for instant replay at Paul Brown Stadium. County officials are asking their lawyers to go through their contract with the Bengals with a fine-tooth comb to make sure that they are the ones responsible for the upgrade.
While Todd Portune believes that the Bengals should pay for the upgrade if they want it, Business Courier senior staff writer Dan Monk believes that the county won't have a choice.
Having read the Cincinnati Bengals' lease for Paul Brown Stadium, I'd be willing to bet that it is required.
That's because the lease clause 12.3, covering "Level I Enhancements." The clause refers to a "stadium-related improvement" that was not prevalent when the lease was signed in1997 but is "capable of being added" later. Examples cited in the lease include a "holographic replay system" and "next generation video screen."
[Editor's Note: Monk is the author that broke the initial story of Cincinnati's near-certainty of obtaining the upgraded replay system]
Bob Bedinghaus, a former Hamilton County Commissioner, now the Bengals' Director of Business Development, says that the clause in the lease was designed to make sure Paul Brown Stadium stays current and up-to-date. However, he also stated that the county could forego the upgrades if they truly can't afford them.
It will be interesting to see what happens with the Bengals' new replay system. The team has likely never had such a poor relationship with the surrounding area, thanks to continuous losing seasons, the bad economy and the not-so-old news that the Bengals' lease was a terrible deal for Hamilton County.
If the Bengals want to repair their image with their local fans, not only should they start winning football games, but they definitely shouldn't ask for money from a county struggling under the weight of a recession. Just sayin'.