On Tuesday, the Cincinnati Bengals and Hamilton County updated their renovation plans for Paycor Stadium, which has a lease to the Bengals that expires in 2026. With that expiration date being closer than it may seem, it is time for the two sides to come up with a plan for extending the lease and improving the stadium.
Recently, the thought has been that the Bengals would do their part to renovate the stadium on their own, plus assist in whatever public funding comes through. Recent reports are that not only did the county want to see plans for how to renovate the current stadium, but they also requested the projected cost of building an entirely new stadium, according to a report from WCPO Cincinnati.
Coming up on 23 years old, Paycor Stadium is relatively young. With that said, since it opened, stadiums across the NFL have changed drastically. Stadiums have only gotten bigger, more complex-based, and in return, much more expensive to build.
The idea of a new stadium also creates questions about where it would be. One of the best things about the current stadium is that it is right downtown. Within walking distance from the heart of the city, The Banks, and not that bad of a walk from across the river in Newport, Paycor Stadium is sitting on prime real estate.
With Great American Ballpark, The Heritage Bank Center, and The Andrew J. Brady Icon Music Center all clustered together, the prospect of a new stadium in the area feels far-fetched. The last new stadium, TQL Stadium is near downtown, but not as close to all of the action as the other venues.
While the prospect of a new stadium can be fun to think about, renovating the current stadium feels like the much more likely result, based on Katie Blackburn’s recent statements at the NFL owner’s meetings.
“I think we have a great stadium. Our stadium has been a great asset to the area and we think if we can keep it up to a certain level it can serve us well for a while longer,” Katie Blackburn said. “(A new stadium is) a big project. And more power to Tennessee and New York for going that direction, but we feel our stadium has been a great asset and can be useful for a while.”
While not impossible, a new stadium is unlikely. The more likely result is a renovated Paycor Stadium, as the renderings released last year show.