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This Date In History: Why Riverfront Stadium Nearly Missed Hosting The 1970 All-Star Game

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This date in history actually means the day this post is published and a day or two before and after.

+ Preventing The Strike To Build Riverfront Stadium. The development of Riverfront Stadium in 1970 wasn't without its moments of anxiety. The workers building the stadium were members of a union and their contract was set to expire on June 1, 1970 with a strike to follow. The Cincinnati Reds were scheduled to host the 1970 All-Star game at Riverfront on July 14 and needed to play at least one home game. Because of the concerns that Riverfront Stadium might not be ready in time, Atlanta was designated as the backup city to host the All-Star game.

Thankfully on May 27, 1970, the union reached a tentative agreement with contractors allowing work to resume, preventing a strike. Riverfront Stadium opened on June 30, 1970 and Cincinnati hosted the All-Star game with President Richard Nixon in attendance, made famous with Peter Edward Rose running over catcher Ray Fosse.

+ Nippert Stadium Adds Seats. On May 26, 1968, published reports announced that the Cincinnati Bengals decided to increase the seating capacity by 5,300 at Nippert Stadium. The home of the University of Cincinnati Bearcats was also the temporary home to the Cincinnati Bengals until Riverfront Stadium was completed.

The Bengals went 6-8 at Nippert between 1968 and 1969 before finally moving into Riverfront Stadium in 1970.

+ Bengals And Isaac Curtis Finally Agree. On May 26, 1980, the Cincinnati Bengals reached an agreement with wide receiver Isaac Curtis after "17 months of negotiations". Assistant General Manager didn't reveal the terms but Curtis "indicated it was a multi-year pact."

He is believed to be earning between $180,000 and $200,000 a year. Curtis played out his option in 1979 but was not signed as a free agent.

+ The Bob Johnson Replacement Signs. Bengals center, the original Bengal as he's nicknamed, Bob Johnson retired. So the Bengals needed a replacement. Back in those days centers were viewed as critical components to an entire offense. They were the quarterbacks of the offensive line and everything started with them. While nothing has changed from that philosophy, centers aren't viewed as the most important position on the offensive line as they once were.

Regardless, the Bengals selected Washington's Blair Bush in the first round of the 1978 NFL Draft to be the Johnson replacement. On May 26, 1978, the Bengals and Blair came to an agreement.

Bush played 17 years in the NFL and started Super Bowl XVI with the Cincinnati Bengals, a team he would play for from 1978-1982. Bush, the 16th overall pick in the 1978 NFL Draft, also played for the Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers and Los Angeles Rams.

+ Virgil Carter Retires. Former Bengals quarterback Virgil Carter announced his retirement on May 26, 1977 to work full time with the Chicago Board of Trade and Mercantile Exchange. Carter, originally drafted in the sixth round by the Chicago Bears in 1967, was traded to the Bengals after the 1969 season and played three seasons in Cincinnati, going 12-10 in 22 starts.

+ Boobie Clark Re-Ups. A 12th round pick during the 1973 draft out of Bethune-Cookman College, Boobie Clark signed a multi-year contract with the Bengals on May 25, 1974 after winning rookie of the year honors in 1973. In six seasons with the Bengals, Clark posted 25 rushing touchdowns, posting 40 receptions or more in two of his first three seasons in the NFL.

Clark died at the age of 37 after suffering a blood clot in his lungs on October 25, 1988.