It's no secret that the Cincinnati Bengals haven't always gotten along with Hamilton County, but both parties put aside their differences in order to get a deal done that would benefit them both.
According to Sharon Coolidge of the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Bengals have waived height restrictions at The Banks in exchange for upgrades to be made to Paul Brown Stadium.
That’s key to clearing the way for a new General Electric building – and up to 2,000 new jobs – at The Banks. It would also allow for construction to start on a new apartment building there, presumably a 291-unit complex.
In exchange, there will be upgrades to PBS, some of which The Bengals will pay for. One of the upgrades is believed to be the long-discussed new video scoreboard.
Here's more from Coolidge's report:
The deal was hammered out over the past four days as commissioners prioritized a riverfront deal to land GE, which has announced its bring up to 2,000 jobs to the area. Also under consideration: Mason and Oakley. Bids are due to GE Friday.
Hamilton County Commissioners Republican Greg Hartmann and Democrat Todd Portune signed off on the deal, with Republican Chris Monzel abstaining from the vote because he works at GE Aviation.
It's a turning point for the county and the Bengals, who have long been at odds over taxpayer-owner Paul Brown Stadium. Portune in particular has villainized the Bengals, twice suing the team in an attempt to secure a better deal for taxpayers.
For their part The Bengals are agreeing to pay for some of the upgrades – something they didn't have do under their lease.
Details of the full list of all the upgrades being made to PBS have yet to be released, though there are a number areas of the stadium that need renovating and/or modernizing.
- Furniture for the two club lounges, which would cost about $1 million. The furniture in the lounges - banquet rooms overlooking the stadium - is almost 15 years old. The county is hoping the Bengals will help with the cost.
- Wi-Fi, which the Bengals would pay a portion of. The total cost is anticipated at $3.5 million.
- An expanded weight room, which would move into space set aside should a professional soccer team ever come to Cincinnati. The Bengals would pay for the expansion, but they need county permission to make the changes.