Bengals stand by lease

7-09-01, 11:45 p.m.

BY GEOFF HOBSON

The Bengals reiterated "a deal is a deal," in response to comments regarding their four-year-old lease that surfaced at Monday's staff meeting involving Hamilton County commissioners.

Sources at the meeting said the issue of re-negotiating the Bengals' lease for Paul Brown Stadium with the county was discussed.

But Troy Blackburn, the Bengals director of business development, said Monday night the club has no plans to revise the 30-year agreement that was secured Memorial Day weekend in 1997.

"The negotiations were five years ago, the agreement was finalized four years ago,

the stadium opened last year, and it's just time to move on," Blackburn said. "It's a signed, legal document and we have no plans to re-visit the issue. We're looking to the future and are concentrating on putting the best team we can on the field."

Blackburn said the county called on two nationally-known firms to help them secure the deal with the Bengals. The county's negotiators worked with a Philadelphia financial company as well as a Chicago law office with a professional sports background.

"The county brought those people on to help them get a lease with us and they did," Blackburn said. "In our minds, we've got a deal with the county and we're not about to get into a debate about something that was agreed to and signed so long ago."

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