Paul Brown Stadium upgrades would cost nearly $500 million over next 20 years

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

Los Angeles-based architecture and design firm, Gensler Sports, briefed Hamilton county officials Tuesday afternoon on the capital assessment of the stadium, our news partners at WCPO report.

Commissioners said this is the first time they had seen the full report.

No action is currently being recommended by the county.

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

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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.

In their study, the firm looked at 15 different areas of the stadium, from seating and food to playing surfaces and parking.

The study cost $375,000 which was split between Hamilton County and the Bengals, according to WCPO.

Paul Brown Stadium is in “good” condition and well-maintained, despite it being over 20 years old, the study said.

To build a completely new stadium could cost up to $2 billion the firm said, but they don’t recommend the county takes that step.

A master plan is set to be released later this year by the firm, that would highlight possible upgrades and ways to enhance fan experience.

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The Bengals released a statement about the assessment after its presentation during the commissioner’s meeting:

“The Bengals are proud to call Paul Brown Stadium home. With respect to this report, the Bengals will study it. We are encouraged by the conclusion that Paul Brown Stadium was well-designed, well-constructed, and has been well-maintained. The condition reflects the care and attention that the Bengals and Hamilton County have taken in maintaining the building to protect the taxpayers’ investment. Because of that, it looks like Paul Brown Stadium can continue to be our home for decades to come at far less cost than seen elsewhere. Today’s report is a first step, and the club looks forward to studying the report and exploring with the County ways to make the coming decades memorable ones for our hometown.”

The county is already obligated to spend around $5 million a year on repairs and improvements at the stadium, according to WCPO.

The costs that will be covered by the county and its taxpayers will not be known until the county comes back with recommendations for what they would like to spend funds on.

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