Posted: 6:30 p.m.
Paul Brown Stadium could be the home of some mega college games in the next few seasons. Such as the University of Cincinnati's 2009 home opener against Virginia Tech and UC's 2010 date against Oklahoma.
With UC's board of trustees approving head coach Brian Kelly's five-year contract Tuesday, those games could become a piece of a potential partnership with the Bengals that includes the NFL club's use of a domed Nippert Stadium to be in place by December of 2009.
"At that point we'd hopefully be getting ready for a bowl game and the Bengals would be making their final push for the playoffs," said Bob Arkeilpane, UC's deputy director of athletics. "This is something that takes 18 to 24 months, so we have to continue to try and wrap up our (private) funding."
That timetable appears to put things on a bit of a fast track and Arkeilpane says the school is looking to finish its fundraising in 30 days. He's not sure if the Bengals portion falls under the same time frame, "but we'll be sitting around a table to soon to talk about those things," he said.
And the school has plenty of incentive to secure the temporary dome and two new side-by-side practice fields because Kelly's buyout decreases by 50 percent if everything isn't in place by the end of next year.
The Bengals aren't commenting on talks that began last season about sharing the dome during the winter months. The club, which is also talking to Paul Brown's alma mater of Miami University about playing some PBS games, hosted a sellout in UC's 2002 game against eventual national champion Ohio State.
"That's the kind of top draw games we're talking about," Arkeilpane said of a PBS date. "We think there are some great regional matchups against teams that travel well and that can really provide excitement for the school, the city, and the Bengals. We think a close relationship with the Bengals can be a win-win for everybody."