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The staggering taxpayer costs of Paul Brown Stadium


The NFL no longer can use Los Angeles for leverage. But L.A. more than served its purpose.

In Cincinnati, L.A. is continuing to serve its purpose.

Via Amansa Seitz of, the taxpayers in Hamilton County, Ohio already have coughed up $920 million for Paul Brown Stadium, which opened in 2000. With the county beginning to foot the bill for some of the team’s game-day operating expenses in 2017 (to the tune of $2.7 million per year and growing) along with other expenses will put the total cost to $1.1 billion through 2026, when the lease with the team expires.

It’s safe to say that if/when the Bengals decide come 2026 that they need a stadium, they shouldn’t count on getting anything close to that from the county.

“Is it worth it? I don’t know,” Hamilton County Commissioner Chris Monzel said, via Seitz. “My gut says it probably hasn’t generated the rate of return on investment that other projects do. From a civic pride standpoint, people are excited about [the Bengals]. You’ve got some intangibles that you can’t really put a price tag on.”

In more and more cities, the price tag for those intangibles has become zero dollars and zero cents. It’s highly unlikely that, in any city at any point now or in the future, the contribution for a stadium will be $1 billion or more, ever again.