Tuesday, February 13, 2001

Bengals seat settlement may top $1.5M




By Dan Klepal
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Satisfying Bengals' season ticket holders unhappy with their seats in Paul Brown Stadium could cost taxpayers $1.5 million or more.

        That's the estimate from Bengals and Hamilton County officials, both of whom have been sued by six fans who claim they paid for seat licenses to buy season tickets in specific locations, then were assigned seats in less desirable areas.

        More than 350 fans have expressed interested in joining the lawsuit if it's granted class-action status.

        Fans paid between $1,500 and $150 for the licenses. Some fans, seated in different sections than they paid for, want a partial refund; others want to give up their tickets and get a total re fund. Some want their seats reassigned into the section they paid for.

        Troy Blackburn, Bengals' director of business development, said the team has been urging Hamilton County to give cheated fans their money back since September. The county sold the seat licenses.

        What's taken so long?

        “You had a major election in county government going on,” Mr. Blackburn said, referring to the commission race between stadium champion Bob Bedinghaus and current Commissioner Todd Portune. “We've had settlement proposals out to the county for three months.”

        That claim doesn't ring true with Carl Stich, assis tant prosecuting attorney who is handling the case for the county.

        “Then I don't know who they were talking to when they made the proposals,” Mr. Stich said. County Administrator David Krings also said the Bengals never approached him about resolving the case early.

        Janet Abaray, attorney for the fans, said any talk of a settlement is premature. She said her clients — and the public that is paying for the stadium — deserve to know why some fans were cheated.

        “Let's suppose we find evidence the Bengals took some of the best seats and gave them to advertisers to enhance revenues,” Ms. Abaray said. “The Bengals are simply trying to undercut the jurisdiction of (the court).”

       



Lawmakers gamble with education funding
Two indicted for morgue photos
- Bengals seat settlement may top $1.5M
Police union willing to bend in racial profiling lawsuit
Tenn. woman might be first OxyContin victim
Wed-Cam puts live weddings on Web
Hats off to Batsakes
Luken kicks off mayor campaign
PULFER: Memories of a real champion
Support payouts on hold
Teachers blamed for portfolio snafu
Ex-teacher jailed for sexual Net messages
Girl, 10, escapes rape attempt
Group protests minister's removal from state board
Judge's home under guard
Monzel to get Winburn's council seat
Two suspects in 1977 slaying
New scanners deny access
Parents question kindergarten readiness
Schools clarify redesign policy
Schools seek tax increase
Toledo firm wins bid for Butler Co. fiber optics
Kentucky Digest
Local Digest
Companies indicted in nursing home deaths
Death row case appealed
Taft has surgery to remove tumor
VP debate boosted school, officials say
Weapons permits under fire