Paul Brown Stadium – Cincinnati Bengals
Welcome to the Jungle
Paul Brown Stadium is the home to the Cincinnati Bengals. The $455 million stadium was completed after Hamilton County voters passed a one half percent sales tax increase to the fun both PBS and Great American Ballpark where the Reds play baseball. The stadium is known passionately by its fans as “The Jungle” who will recite the victory cry “Who dey think gonna beat dem Bengals in the jungle?” feverishly throughout the game.
Before it’s opening, the Bengals spent 30 years at Riverfront Stadium, a multi-purpose facility that was shared with the Reds and featured artificial turf for most of its life. The club also spent a dismal decade of losing through the majority of the 1990s and the new football-only stadium was the beginning of a new era for not only Bengal football but for the city. It’s design gained attention in 2007 when it was the only NFL stadium listed as one of “America’s favorite 150 buildings and structures” according to a Harris Interactive survey.
Since the opening of PBS, there have been 16 stadiums built plus two in construction in the NFL. You almost get the feeling that “The Jungle” has been overlooked by many football stadium enthusiasts, but its location in downtown along the riverfront offers a sleek design that blends in well with skyscrapers views to the north and the rolling hills in Kentucky over the Ohio River to the south. Once you park your car, the fan is able to tailgate, grab a bite to eat in a nearby bar or restaurant, and perhaps take in a few tourist attractions in the area.
Food & Beverages 4
The Bengals have improved food and beverage options the last few years offering an array of one-of-a-kind menu items to coincide with local and Gameday varieties. If you are hungry and are looking to divulge in something sweet in highly calorific you should be able to find something of your choice add a Bengals game.
The past few seasons have seen fresh burgers topped with peanut butter and red pepper jelly, tater tots covered with Buffalo chicken or Asian beef, and Sonoran hot dogs that are wrapped in bacon top with pinto beans, fresh jalapenos, salsa verde, and queso fresco. There are also the choice of boneless wings, buffalo chicken nachos, and grilled cheese sandwiches.
Not to be outdone, the Cincy-style cheesesteak is shaved bratwurst and mettwurst (the city’s signature sausage) with fresh peppers and onions, and provolone cheese. Another Cincy-spin would be the Goetta Reuben Melt and of course popular Gold Star Chili coneys and 3-ways (spaghetti, chili, and a mound of cheddar cheese). There are also roasted pork, steak, and chicken tacos and healthier options that include veggie flatbreads, turkey hot dogs, and veggie wraps.
The Queen City Tap Room is located on the west side level and features 15 different craft beers, including local varieties from Rhinegeist, Braxton, Mad Tree, Blank State, Mount Carmel, and Rivertown. There is even a beer cycle, a tricycle with two kegs that travels to different areas during the game providing pints of beers to areas of the stadium where more drink-seeking fans are. Cincinnati is one of nine teams it featured at their stadium.
Paul Brown Stadium offers fantastic sightlines throughout the stadium, especially the lower level. The area is open and the bright orange and black striped endzones are visible along with the jungle pattern motif against the field backdrop. The upper deck seating is a bit steeper, but opens up the nearby skyscrapers of downtown and puts the fan a tad closer to the game.
Before the game, The Jungle Zone kicks off 3 hours before the game on the East Plaza level of the stadium and offers food, drinks, giveaways, and family-friendly activities. They’re also food trucks, $5 beers, and a photo frame where fans can take pictures in Bengals related seems. The area was revamped prior to the 2018 season and also features a stage with live music or a DJ to entertain the crowds arriving early. Similar to other pre-game sections in the league, the zone is a perfect place for fans of all ages.
However, the lots around the stadium can be used for old-fashion tailgating beginning at 8 a.m. the day of the game. Local restaurants are opened on both sides of the river, and The District is a great gathering spot if you are visiting from out of town and just want to purchase food and drink.
Games against division foes Pittsburgh or Cleveland sell-out quickly and provided the most energetic atmosphere that will include the team’s “Huy Dey” chant. As with most teams, winning helps out the atmosphere immensely and the team has seen a lot of it lately; unfortunately the season we visited PBS, the club was in the midsts of a 6-10 campaign after beginning with a 4-1 record.
There is quite an eclectic mix of activities near the stadium that can be enjoyed before or after the game. The District, a mix of residential and commercial buildings sits between PBS and the baseball stadium and includes the Christian Moerlein Lager House, Holy Grail Tavern & Grille, BurgerFi, and the Jefferson Social.
Across the Ohio River on the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge is Newport on the Levee featuring the Hofbrauhaus Newport, Strong’s Brick Oven Pizza, and Newport Aquarium. A short ride on the local transit is Rhinegeist Brewing in the up-and-coming Over-the-Rhine section that offers a rooftop deck, cornhole, and scenic views in an 1890s building. The building is packed before games serving up some of the best beers in the city.
A few downtown options that might go unnoticed to out of towners is the Carew Tower where for only $6 you can experience spectacular views of the city and surrounding area. The Cincinnati Museum Center houses a collection of museums in the former Union Terminal building that is an Art-Deco lovers dream. The National Underground Railroad Freedom Museum is located near the stadium and offers several exhibits throughout the year.
It has been tough to be a Bengals fan the past few seasons as a team has improved quite mightily this decade but has not won a playoff game since 1991–almost 30-years-ago. However, you will not find another group of fans as faithful as the ones who don on the black and orange jerseys and shout out the rallying cry “Huy Dey”.
The open-air stadium is easily accessible at all concourse levels during the game. Bathrooms, concessions, and entrances are displayed in various locations and are easy to locate. The Bengals have implemented express lanes entering the game for fans without bags and there are various entrances into the building. If arriving at the game by car, there are multiple lots within easy walking distance from Cincinnati or over the Roebling Bridge over the Ohio River that on a nice day makes for a great walk.
Return on Investment 4
Attending a game at Paul Brown Stadium ranks 30th among the most affordable NFL venues according to a recent GoBankingRates website survey. The average cost of a ticket is $112 (well below the league average of $239). Fans can even enjoy $5 beers at the game in The Jungle Fun Zone, a hot dog is $5.50, and parking averages around $22 per car.
A cost of a ticket to a game will depend on who the club is playing. Games against Pittsburgh and Cleveland could fetch a price beginning at $70 on secondary market websites, but other opponents could cost as low as $29–you might be able to find cheaper prices on the day of the game. Winning and losing seasons will also dictate the prices for games and push the average cost up slightly.
The price to park your car can range from as low as $6 at 690 E. Pete Rose Way (about a mile from PBS) to $33 at 277 W. 5th St. (a third of a mile from the stadium). There are also options across in Covington and Newport, Kentucky, at various lots that include a $2 to $3 shuttle ride over the bridge, or you could simply walk if the weather is nice. The average price to park your car is between $20 to $22 for Bengals games, below many other NFL stadiums.
For more parking information check out Stadium Parking Guides website.
The Bengals fans receive a point for the “Who Dey” chant that is both a victory chant and secret handshake that only the truest Bengal fan says to one another.
The stadium receives one point for its non-corporate name. Former team coach Paul Brown founded the club in 1968 and the legendary football coach from Ohio is honored with his name on the exterior of the building.
A third point for its proximity to the riverfront, downtown, and The District. One could spend a few hours enjoying a few of the local establishments near the stadium after a game.
The Bengals received some attention this year as the beer is cheaper than water at the game. A Bud-Coors-Miller product sells for $5, while water is $5.25.
Paul Brown Stadium does get overlooked at times from many sports travelers but it has a lot to offer in terms of its location, aesthetics, pricing, and fans. When attending a Bengals game you also get to enjoy Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, and many great museums, restaurants, and gathering spots in the Queen City.
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