Just a week after the Pittsburgh Steelers found a new name to replace Heinz Field, the Cincinnati Bengals are expected to do the same for Paul Brown Stadium. Per The Cincinnati Enquirer, the Bengals are close to a deal for the naming rights of the stadium — the first name change in the stadium’s history.
Paul Brown Stadium went over two decades without having a corporate sponsor having an imprint in the stadium name, which was named after Bengals founder Paul Brown, in 2000. The stadium was one of three NFL stadiums not named after a corporate sponsor (Lambeau Field and Soldier Field are the others).
Cincinnati moved to Paul Brown Stadium from Riverfront Stadium (Cinergy Field) in 1999, as the franchise called that stadium home for 29 years (started in 1970). The Bengals played their first two seasons at Nippert Stadium on the University of Cincinnati campus in 1968 and 1969.
A name change is shocking for Cincinnati, given that Mike Brown — the son of Paul Brown — is the Bengals’ owner and president. The Bengals went 22 years prior to changing the stadium name, all of which Mike Brown was president. Brown has been president of the Bengals since 1991.
Paul Brown Stadium is owned by the Hamilton County, so sponsorship profits would go to the county and the city of Cincinnati. The Bengals have notified Hamilton County about the potential deal.
The Bengals are coming off the franchise’s first AFC championship since the 1988 season, falling to the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI. With a franchise quarterback in Joe Burrow and a talented young offense surrounding him, Cincinnati’s popularity is arguably the highest it’s been in decades.