April 24, 2014

The Cincinnati Bengals Stadium Deal and who is to blame

Thanks to the Wall Street Journal, the Bengals and their stadium deal are back in the news. A lengthy and mostly unbiased look at the Stadium deal the Bengals received from Hamilton County is detailed as the worst stadium deal in pro sports. I agree with this fact and will never argue against it, I will continue to argue the fact that it is not the Bengals that are to blame. To simplify the argument, can you blame any business for any deal they receive that is approved? A business will always try and secure the most favorable deal they can, that is universal.

The fault 100% lies with the county politicians and the voters. Take for example the carrots that the local government dangled in front of voters to get the deal done:

“rollback of a property-tax break promised as part of a 1996 plan to entice voters to pay for two new stadiums.”

and

“Hamilton County voters overwhelmingly approved a half-percent sales tax increase in March 1996, paving the way for the pair of stadiums. In exchange, residents were promised a property-tax rollback and more funding for public schools.”

 

The County now tries to spin arguments to blame the Bengals, but they are all weak. If you cannot separate your views of the business deal with your displeasure with the Bengals you need to click on this link www.whodeyrevolution.com where your theories of Mike Brown destroying the world are shared by many other feeble minded individuals.

Look, I don’t like the way Mike Brown runs the organization, the win loss record alone speaks to his ineptness. However, I do know that when running the business side of it, he got a pot of gold when the moronic politicians from the county agreed to the deal.

The biggest argument people use against the Bengals is the fact that they threatened to move the team. This was not just a threat but a certainty. The Bengals had a deal with Baltimore in the works and they used this to negotiate with Cincinnati. I recently did the same thing and saved thousands of dollars when buying a new car. Should I be at fault because my deal was too good?

Then the county claims that construction costs were grossly underestimated. It turns out that a ton of cash was lost because of the county commissioners negligence.

“Hamilton County commissioners say the location change accounted for only $70 million of the extra costs.
A preliminary PricewaterhouseCoopers audit of construction costs, reviewed by the Journal, found that there were insufficient financial controls on the part of various project managers and contractors hired by the county. It notes that at least $35 million of the cost overruns were unrelated to the site change, of which the Bengals were responsible for roughly $4 million.”

So the Bengals seemed to be responsible for only 4 million of the overrun. Then it gets awesome, the county agrees for the top of the line for the Bengals, even the stuff that does not even exist.

“On top of paying for the stadium, Hamilton County granted the Bengals generous lease terms. It agreed to pick up nearly all operating and capital improvement costs—and to foot the bill for high-tech bells and whistles that have yet to be invented, like a “holographic replay machine.”"

Yeah, and some flying cars and teleportation devices. Your Cincinnati politicians at work.

“Robert Boland, sports business professor at New York University’s Tisch Center says that while the Cincinnati deal was skewed, it’s important to remember there were two sides at the table. “You can’t blame the Bengals at all for negotiating the most favorable deal they can,” he says. Hamilton County was a “willing participant.”

Read that again:

“You can’t blame the Bengals at all for negotiating the most favorable deal they can,”

And no, he does not work for Mike Brown, only one of the most respected universities in the country. You see, if you separate your dislike for the Bengals brass, the people you should be angry with is the local politicians that do not know how to handle money.

“County Auditor Dusty Rhodes initially supported the stadium deal—partly as a matter of civic pride. But now he feels differently about the costly legacy that has grown in the arenas’ shadow—and believes there’s plenty of blame to go around.
The county, he underscores, has used some of the tax dollars earmarked for the stadium on things like a road project and a new waterfront development. “They just went nuts spending this money for stuff that was not envisioned,” he says.”

When most people spend money they don’t have, they know they are at fault. The county decides to blame the Bengals. It must mean the Bengals are the only ones getting breaks from the county. Oh wait, I did see this headline yesterday:

Report: $75M In Tax Breaks For In-Region Business Moves

Nice.

Comments

  1. Nate says:

    Mike Brown is a top-rate businessman. He has taken a rather small market team and turned them into a huge profit base. According to Forbes, he made almost $50 million in profit last year. That’s incredible. I just wish he was as good at his general manager position as he is at his owner role.

  2. Lee says:

    It’s funny how Bengals.com (whodey perspective) has become a place where all they’re doing is disputing all the negative things that’s said about the organization. Maybe they should start listening to the critisism from all angles. I think it is only going to get worse for this organization. I feel sorry for us…haha.