Tuesday, November 23, 1999

Stadium project on target

Bengals' preseason will begin in new facility, boss says

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        With about 750 workers scurrying about behind him, the man heading the construction of Paul Brown Stadium said Monday it will be finished in time for next season.

        Construction officials gave a tour of the $404 million project, about 60 percent complete, Monday afternoon. Project Manager Daniel Streyle said the schedule is tight, but the stadium will be ready in August 2000, in time for the Bengals' late-summer preseason games.

        “We will be ready for football,” Mr. Streyle said.

        Any concerns that might have caused delays have been addressed, he said. Even a harsh winter would not affect construction, with a lot of the work still to be performed being inside the stadium.

        As the project progresses, the number of workers on the project will continue to grow and peak at about 1,000, Mr. Streyle said.

        Passers-by can see the upper seating levels of the 66,000-seat stadium beginning to take shape. Below the towering cranes, workers are putting up walls to concession stands. Luxury suites await finishing touches. Handrails along the stadium steps are being installed.

        “We are very excited by what we are seeing,” said Troy Blackburn, the Bengals' director of stadium development. The stadium is aimed at offering a whole new experience for football fans.

        The team is relying on construc tion crews to get the project done on time.

        The Bengals are guaranteed about $4 million for every game they miss in the new facility because of a construction delay, starting with the 2000 National Football League opener.

        Concerns about meeting the deadline, though, prompted the Bengals to prevent the Reds from installing grass in Cinergy Field in time for the 2000 baseball season. The Reds have given up that fight.

        Despite the assurances from the construction manager that the new stadium will be finished, the Bengals have not altered their stance on keeping artificial turf in Cinergy Field, Mr. Blackburn said.


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