The Bengals unveiled the fans training camp schedule Wednesday featuring two Family Nights at Paul Brown Stadium as well as a new first-come-first-served admissions policy.
When the club opens its free public workouts on Friday, July 26, in a 3-5 p.m. practice on the grass fields across from PBS to begin the second camp in downtown Cincinnati, fans no longer need a pass to gain entry.
They can line up at the gates of the practice fields on the corner of Pete Rose Way and Central Avenue with gates set to open an hour before practice begins. Fans are allowed to bring small soft-sided coolers, unopened bottles of water and food into all practices. Concessions and Bengals merchandise are available to purchase.
No chairs or other temporary seating are permitted at the practice field, where there is space for approximately 1,500 fans in the bleachers and standing room for about 1,000 more.
"Training camp offers the unique experience of watching the team up close as it prepares for the upcoming season," Bengals executive vice president Katie Blackburn said in the club's news release announcing the camp dates. "The Bengals are very pleased to be holding camp here in Cincinnati again this year and look forward to being a part of the downtown area's many fun activities."
The Bengals Pep Rally opens the 20-day camp on Thursday night, July 25 inside PBS headlined by the popular local band "The Rusty Griswolds." The evening includes player introductions, remarks from head coach Marvin Lewis, and autograph sessions with former Bengals. Gates open at 7 p.m., the Griswolds take the stage at 7:45, and the rally is at 8:45.
A long-time camp staple, the intrasquad scrimmage, is no longer scheduled. Since the 2011 collective bargaining agreement limiting contact and the wearing of pads, Lewis has been streamlining camp and last year's scrimmage turned out to be the first and second teams getting four live plays while the rest went live for a period. He's also had live periods embedded in other padded practices.
The first 53 fans to show a Fifth Third Bank debit card or credit card at the practices on the grass fields can plan to sit in the Fifth Third Reserved Bleachers. After each of those practices, groups of players are available to sign autographs for 15 minutes.
Also on display is the filming of Hard Knocks, the Emmy Award-winning HBO-NFL Films series that is chronicling the Bengals' second training camp in four years.
"Holding training camp at PBS last year worked out great for our players, staff, coaches, and especially for our fans," Lewis said in the club's release. "This year, with the addition of HBO's 'Hard Knocks' featuring the Bengals, I think fans will have a great opportunity to see up close just what our guys go through as they prepare for another NFL season."
The Bengals are again holding a cross promotion with the Reds in honor of two doubleheader chances for fans. On Friday, Aug. 2 the Bengals practice from 3-5 p.m. before the Reds host the Cardinals in one of their huge Central Division matchups at Great American Ball Park at 7:10. On Saturday, Aug. 10 in another 7:10 p.m. game, the Reds play the Padres after a 3 p.m. Bengals practice. Three posters pair off players from each club with defensive tackle Geno Atkins joining first baseman Joey Votto, running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis teaming with centerfielder Shin-Soo Choo, and right end Michael Johnson matching up with pitcher Mat Latos.