6-8-04, 4:30 p.m.
Updated: 6-8-04, 6:20 p.m.
BY GEOFF HOBSON
Cincinnati's first Monday night game in 15 years has proven to be a prime time seller. For the first time in the seven years the Bengals have sold ticket packs, they announced Tuesday that the supply of Ticket Package B has been exhausted.
Those games, against the Ravens on Sunday, Sept. 26, and the Monday night Oct. 25 game against the Broncos, aren't sold out, but they are now only available through the purchase of Bengals season tickets.
"The response has been remarkable when you consider we've only had them on sale five days," said Kevin Lane, the club's director of ticket sales. "We set aside a certain number of tickers for the packs, and with the season ticket sales as strong as they've been; we wanted to make sure we gave ourselves room to meet the demand of new season ticket buyers."
Tickets for all other Bengals home games also are available by purchasing season tickets, or by purchasing one of the remaining three Ticket Packs. Lane says Ticket Pack A (the first prime time game in PBS history on Sunday night Sept. 19 against Miami and Nov. 7 against Dallas), is the second most popular hit. There is also Ticket Pack C (Nov. 21 against Pittsburgh and Dec. 26 against the Giants) and Ticket Pack D (Nov. 28 against Cleveland and Dec. 19 against Buffalo).
Bengals season tickets and Ticket Packs can be purchased by calling (513) 621-TDTD (8383) in Greater Cincinnati, and toll free at (866) 621-TDTD (8383) from outside Cincinnati. Fans also can purchase tickets in person at the Bengals Ticket Office near Gate E on the plaza level, accessible from Elm Street. Ticket Pack order forms and information can also be found at the team's website at www.bengals.com.
MAGIC CARPET RIDE: Fighting through a cicadas cloud instead of a swarm of tacklers, Paul Brown Stadium's FieldTurf rolled up its first 30 yards of offense Tuesday when the dust bowl took on the first slash of green.
Dave Stapchuck, FieldTurf's lead installer, and his crew of eight began the installation process that should be completed by early next week if weather permits as the project continues on target for its June 30 completion.
Stapchuck's crew is replacing grass with what is basically a loosely-woven shag carpet of synthetic
fibers 2 1/4 inches long. More than 40 rolls of carpet, each 180 feet long and 15 feet wide, are in the process of being rolled out and sewn together. Using a huge sewing machine that knits the rolls together through polyurethane backing, the crew is stretching out the carpet over hundreds of tons of crushed stone.
But it wasn't easy Tuesday.
"It looked like the plague of locusts," said Bengals business manager Bill Connelly as he described the crew being attacked by about 50-100 cicadas. "Their reaction to the noise of the machine was just amazing. Dave kept telling his guys before it was turned on, 'Be prepared for the attack.'"
But Stapchuck's crew is a grizzled veteran of the NFL's synthetic saga. FieldTurf has also installed carpets in Seattle, Giants Stadium, Minnesota and Detroit.
After the carpet is down in a couple of days, then comes the cutting in of the logos and hash marks. Then comes the final stage, which is blanketing the carpet with rubber and sand, and then brooming that combo down through the fibers to create the in-fill.