With the celebration that the Cincinnati Bengals are holding their training camp this year at Paul Brown Stadium, a little town in Kentucky is already coping with being the long-forgotten. Since 1997 the Bengals packed up and traveled to Georgetown, Kentucky around this time every year to hold training camp, where players would use dorm rooms and the spacious area allowed for more room.
Now the money and tourism that the city once enjoyed, is no longer flowing into Georgetown and will be felt by many businesses, per WKYT.
The impact is also being felt by local businesses. Hundreds of people traveled from all over the state as well as neighboring states to watch the Bengals practice. "My uncle is a really big fan so it was cool that they were in our town. He was excited to come visit us and watch his team."
Local store owners say they'll definitely feel the effects of the team being gone, especially at restaurants. "The players use to come in all the time and eat and fans would come in as well. It was such a great environment," explains restaurant manager Sheri Gruchow.
The reasoning for Cincinnati's decision to stay home this year was simple. Since the NFL's collective bargaining agreement required teams to hold only one practice per day, it only made sense to hold training camp sessions closer to home.
Bengals owner and president reflected on Georgetown during Tuesday's media luncheon, telling John Clay with the Herald-Leader:
"We had a great relationship with the people at Georgetown from (college president) Bill Crouch on down. We liked it there," insisted Bengals owner Mike Brown on Tuesday. "Times have required a change. Most teams are practicing now at their own facilities. We're following along in that trend, but that is not a reflection on Georgetown.
"If you wanted to go away for a training camp, there's no better place that I can think of than going down to Georgetown."