The Cincinnati Bengals and the Hamilton County Prosecutor's office have asked the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court to resolve issues aired in Cincinnati regarding pat downs for fans entering NFL stadiums. The County asked the Court to delay pat downs until it could rule on the merits of the arguments, but the Court declined.
The Court allowed pat downs to begin with this Sunday's game against the Steelers. The Bengals have agreed to advance the cost of the added security measures pending further rulings of the court.
Additionally, the Bengals also filed papers asking the Court to clarify whether the added security measures present an unreasonable condition for ticket holders entering Paul Brown Stadium. This should allow for a prompt resolution of any other questions that may arise in connection with the NFL-mandated policy.
"We asked the Court to consider all aspects of the situation," said Troy Blackburn, Bengals director of development. "We believe Judge (Beth) Myers will give this all necessary consideration. Until we get a ruling from the Court, we are required to follow the NFL rules and not make up our own rules."
The Bengals are working closely with the stadium manager (Paul Brown Stadium Limited), with NFL security representatives and with local officials to execute the pat downs as efficiently as possible. The Bengals are working with the NFL to have someone from NFL Security available to discuss the implementation of these new measures later this week with the media.
"Feedback from around the league is that there are few problems with pat downs," said Bob Bedinghaus, Bengals director of stadium development. "But anytime you introduce something new, there is likely to be some delay. If you arrive at the stadium after 12:30 p.m., there may be longer lines than normal. Our advice is to plan on arriving a little earlier than normal."
Entrance gates to Paul Brown Stadium will open at 11:00 a.m. (30 minutes earlier than usual), for the Steelers game on October 23.
NFL venues have successfully used pat downs as part of their stadium security procedures. All stadiums, with the exception of Chicago's Soldier Field, are now conducting pat downs, and they have gone smoothly with the cooperation of fans.