Saturday, March 23, 2002

Bengals get a break on Cinergy suite

By Dan Klepal,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Renting a luxury suite at Cinergy Field costs $16,000 for the season. Plus you have to buy 20 tickets at $31 a piece for each of the 81 home games — another $50,000.

        Unless you're the Cincinnati Bengals.

        The Bengals organization had its suite lease amended by Hamilton County so that team officials have to purchase tickets only to games they want to attend, and for only the number of people actually in attendance.

        It's a break that none of the other corporations renting suites get, according to Terry Evans, the county's assistant director of stadium operations.

        “If the Bengals work out a separate deal with the Reds, we don't care about that,” County Administrator Dave Krings said. “I just want to make sure they're paying the $16,000 for the suite, and they're doing that.”

        The county gets all the revenue from suite sales while the Reds get ticket revenue. But the county had to agree to the special deal, which county prosecutors signed off on last month.

        Reds officials declined to comment on the deal. But in a February letter, Reds Chief Operating Officer John Allen wrote that the Reds agreed to it.

        When asked why the Bengals were given a deal that other corporations and individuals haven't been given, Mr. Evans said: “Probably because (the Bengals) asked and other people haven't.”

        There are about 20 suites at Cinergy Field. All but three have been leased for the coming baseball season. Those three suites will be rented out on a game-by-game basis.


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