Giant Bengals watch party proposed at Paul Brown Stadium

The electronic display shows the team logos over the empty Paul Brown Stadium before an NFL football game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

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The electronic display shows the team logos over the empty Paul Brown Stadium before an NFL football game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

CINCINNATI — How about watching the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship game with tens of thousands of your fellow fans?

That’s what Hamilton County Commissioner Alicia Reece would like to have happen. Reece has broached the idea of a massive Bengals watch party at Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday for their game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

“Even though we’ll be playing the game in Kansas City, they’ll be doing all the shots in Kansas City” Reese said. “(If) we do the watch party at Paul Brown Stadium, we got to do a shot into Paul Brown Stadium, bringing it back to Cincinnati.”

Reece said she asked Hamilton County Administrator Jeff Aluotto to explore whether it is possible to allow fans into the stadium to watch the game. Reece is a long time Bengals fan and has seen other cities host watch parties in their venues. She also believes the Bengals playing for the AFC Championship helps shine a national spotlight on Cincinnati and could potentially generate tourists interest in the region.

“They’ll be able to see our riverfront and say, ‘Yeah, I want to come to Cincinnati.’ Maybe we should bring our convention there. Maybe we should come there for a weekend stay,” she said.

The chance to create more buzz around the region also comes as the city, county and the Port are working on an agreement to create a convention center district. As the former Millennium Hotel is being demolished, the local entities are working on a plan to have 3CDC serve as the lead development manager to potentially expand the Duke Energy Convention Center, build a new convention center hotel and build up retail shops, restaurants and services around it to create the convention center district.

Reece and others are pushing to make sure the large project includes African American and minority contractors.

The proposed plan has a goal of building the new convention center hotel by the fall of 2025.

“Let’s have a partnership from the top down of equity in the decision-making, in the development, in the jobs, in the ownership of property around it, the hotel development, every step of the way,” Reece said.

Cincinnati Vice Mayor Jan Michele Lemon-Kearney and city council member Reginald Harris have also indicated they want to see equity emphasized during the project.

The Hamilton County Commission were to discuss the project during an afternoon meeting on Tuesday. It could potentially be presented for a vote on Thursday. Cincinnati City Council might vote on the project on Wednesday.

Regarding a watch party at Paul Brown Stadium, the entities would need to work quickly to make that happen since the game is in five days.

WCPO is a content partner of the Journal-News/Cox First Media.

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