$500M is cost to maintain Bengals stadium over next 20 years, firm says

Hamilton County hires firm to assess future of PBS

CINCINNATI — It will cost more than $493 million to maintain Paul Brown Stadium over the next two decades according to an outside firm hired to conduct a capital assessment of the Bengals home field.

County Officials released the capital assessment of the stadium from Los Angeles-based architecture and design firm, Gensler Sports, Tuesday at a 1 p.m. Hamilton County Commissioner’s meeting.

Gensler was hired to address long-term capital repair, replacement and improvements at Paul Brown Stadium and offer design options for the next 20 years, according to the contract.

The firm looked at 15 different areas of the stadium, from seating and food to playing surfaces and parking, and provided a suggested priority list and timeline for repairs.

The county and the Bengals split the $375,000 cost for the study.

You can watch the commissioners meeting HERE

Commissioners voted in September 2020 to hire Gensler to evaluate the needs of the stadium — especially as the Bengals lease is set to expire in 2026 — and come up with a master plan for the future.

Paul Brown Stadium opened in 2000 and is approaching middle age compared to other NFL stadiums across the nation.

The firm was also asked to forecast future facility renewal and reconstruction costs. Tuesday, Gensler, announced a new facility could cost up to $2 billion.

In March, the Buffalo Bills struck a deal for a $1.4 billion stadium, with an $850 million public contribution. It is the largest taxpayer contribution ever for an NFL facility, according to media reports.

Gensler will also create a separate master plan to suggest specific upgrades at Paul Brown Stadium related to “what is occurring at other NFL stadia,” according to the contract.

A county spokesperson said the master plan will not be revealed at Tuesday’s meeting and is still a “ways off.”

WCPO submitted several public records requests over the past month for the study and its drafts, as well as performance reports which the contract states shall be provided on a bi-weekly basis to the county. A county spokesperson said no bi-weekly written reports exist. The county had not provided the documents and only announced that the capital assessment study would be released one day prior to Tuesday’s commissioners meeting after WCPO made urgent requests for the study, citing Ohio’s open records laws.

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