I am a firm believer that may stadium experience is directly affected by two things.
- The people around me
- The outcome of the game
If the "fans" around are not just a bunch of drunks looking to get into some sort of trouble and the Bengals win, my experience at Paul Brown is awesome. If I leave the game head hung down from a Bengals loss and smelling like beer from the morons who couldn't wait to punch each other all game, then the experience gets an F.
The people at StadiumJourney took a little more scientific approach. They have members and corespondents submit reviews surrounding all aspects of the fan experience at a stadium and they came up with a list of how the teams graded out. The Bengals came it at 13:
When you click into the individual review for the Bengals you can tell a Cincinnati fan wrote it up. He understands the plight of the long suffering fans and calls out the areas around the stadium for being greatly improved. The tailgate culture in Cincinnati is strong. I have been to at least 9 other NFL stadiums and have experienced the good and bad of all of them. The tailgating in the Queen City is as strong as any I have seen.
Where Cincinnati fails to me is in the noise from the stands. Sure, we are an open air stadium but so is Arrowhead stadium and the noise difference between the two is drastic. At times Bengals fans can cause a raucous but it is few and far between.
We weren't first, but we weren't last either. At least the Bengals were above the Ravens.