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Paul Brown Stadium (map it)
One Paul Brown Stadium
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Year Opened: 2000
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Following the decline of one of sport's most innovative convertible stadiums for its time in Cinergy Field, more commonly known as Riverfront Stadium. Paul Brown Stadium has become the wonderful new image of the Cincinnati Bengals. Not only were the Bengals a proud recipient of the tax passed by Hamilton County to fund their new home, but the MLB franchise Cincinnati Reds scored the beautiful Great American Ball Park as well. Although Riverfront Stadium was home to many great memories (with friends and family more so than results on the field), most Cincinnatians would agree that it was time for an upgrade. According to Harris Interactive Survey, Paul Brown Stadium recently has been named to the list of "America's Favorite 150 Buildings and Structures," being the only football stadium to make this list. The only other two sports venues to make the list were Wrigley Field and Yankee Stadium.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Paul Brown Stadium has a total of 56 concession stands offering plenty of opportunities to load up on your favorite stadium food. Most anything that you would expect at the stadium you will find. Additionally, the stadium offers chicken tenders, which are exceptional for stadium food, foot long hot dogs with onions and peppers, excellent chicken sandwiches, Philly cheese steaks, and coneys.
In certain places in the stadium, you can find full bars such as The Pigskin Pub on the concourse behind section 109. Find other specialty locations here.
While it will cost you a little extra, the best place to sit in the stadium is the 200-level where the club seats are located. In these areas you will not only have the best view of all the action, but you will also be served food and drinks throughout the game. In addition, you will also gain access to club lounges to enjoy before or after the game. These are also the only extra-wide, padded seats in the stadium. If you're feeling extra saucy you can step up to one of the 114 private suites.
The atmosphere surrounding most Bengals games at the stadium is very unique. Typically, the team has been known for putting a lot of talent on the field but not performing to their full potential. This concept leads to a lot of hopeful, and then later disappointed, fans.
The fans normally get very excited before and during games - which creates a great atmosphere - but when the team loses, fans get angry and quickly turn on the opposing fans which creates a very interesting dynamic. However, to the stadium's credit they do all they can to excite the crowd including fan favorites such as the pregame Bengal slashing of the opposing team's flag on the video board, the post touchdown sing-along, and of course the Ben-Gals cheerleaders.
There aren't a ton of things to do before or after games near Paul Brown; however, I don't think too many complain about it because of the great tailgating that takes place. These have to be some of the most experienced and dedicated tailgaters I've ever seen. Custom rides and large parking lot parties are the ordinary for these fanatics.
If you're from out-of-town and would rather explore some of the downtown Cincinnati restaurants, there are a few hidden gems. Be sure to check out Tina's and Head First Sports Cafe, these places embody the Cincinnati sports flare.
If you plan to stay near the stadium I recommend either the Millennium or the Hyatt Regency, directly across the street from each other. Both are very nice properties and just a short walk to the stadium. If you are indeed staying in a hotel, be sure to stop in the Hyatt for the bar and restaurant located on the first floor. The bar, Champs, is a Cincinnati themed sports bar which is always crowded before and after games, and the connecting restaurant, Findlay's, is a very nice but casual joint with excellent food.
If you're looking for a little more excitement before or after the big game, trek over just a couple of more blocks to Cadillac Ranch. This is a massive country-style bar which is the place to be on game days. Don't be fooled when I say country, they play all sorts of music and will appeal to all kinds. Additionally, during your walk to get there, you'll pass by one of Cincinnati's most famous landmarks, the Fountain Square fountain, which is a nice bonus.
As mentioned before, these are some of the most die-hard fans in the NFL. Their only flaw is that they get down on their team too easily, but then again these fans have seen a lot of rough years, so it's somewhat understandable. There are even fans so dedicated that they've created their own organization. One for example is the Bengal Bomb Squad, who take over a whole portion of a parking lot. They have their own mini bus equipped with a sound system, DJ, and face painting. In addition, they all take on a character that they've created with custom jerseys and even trading cards of themselves. This is only one example of the dedication of these fans, not to mention the Bengal Storm-Trooper or hundreds of custom striped vehicles hosting wild parties under the highway overpasses.
Parking within a few minutes of a walk to the stadium is typically pretty easy, but be prepared to spend anywhere up to $30. Many businesses and side lots utilize their spaces for game days. Please find parking and directional information here.
The stadium features over 1,200 individual restroom fixtures, providing plenty of restroom space for any number of guests in attendance. You will be pleased to find the restrooms clean and spacious. Additionally, you will be happy with the amount of leg room at the seats and with the cup holders at each seat. These basic amenities make for a very enjoyable fan experience.
Overall, the prices at the venue are to be expected for a first-class NFL experience that you will get at Paul Brown Stadium. For tickets, you'll expect to pay between $65 and $85 a piece, face value, for individual game tickets. Here you can see what section you will get for your money: $65 for all yellow and purple sections, $73 for all orange sections, $77 for all blue sections, and $85 for all olive sections.
Food and beverages are a bit pricey, but considering where you are they are about on-par; you'll have trouble staying under $10 for a single visit to the concessions.
Lining the concourse areas there are large banners featuring historically legendary Bengals alumni. These will surely make you stop and think about the memories of watching these greats on the field.
The spectacle of fans who show up in one crazy outfit after the other deserves an extra credit point. Every team has their crazies, but these fans know how to do it up big.
The two massive signature escalators which take the masses up to the nose-bleeds are not only extremely convenient, but also fun for the inner child in all of us. In addition, you'll be sure to catch some "Who-Dey" chants along the way.
Overall, you'll be hard-pressed to find things to complain about. It seems as though they've thought of everything. For a stadium that doesn't receive a ton of praise, it sure is one heck of a nice venue. See if you can make it during the early parts of football season and maybe you'll be able to catch a Reds game in the beautiful park across the street.
Opened in 2000, the Bengals' Paul Brown Stadium is a beautiful example of what can be when its done right. The Jungle, as fans affectionately call it, is affordable, in a great location, and has wonderful sight lines. I think most fans would find this a great place to go see a game.
115 Joe Nuxhall Way
Cincinnati, OH 45202
150 W Fifth St
Cincinnati, OH 45202
151 W 5th St
Cincinnati, OH 45202