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Mike Brown says he’s “committed” to keeping the Bengals in Cincinnati

NFL Owners Meet To Discuss Status Of Contract Negotiations Getty Images

The Bengals will continue to be primarily owned by Mike Brown.  And Mike Brown now will own a bigger piece of the team.

The team has announced that the existing owners of the team have exercised the contractual right to match an offer made by a group of New York investors for a minority interest in the team held by Austin E. “Dutch” Knowlton.

“This transaction solidifies the local ownership of the Cincinnati Bengals, with the Brown family continuing to hold the controlling interest,” the team announced.

But the most intriguing line of the team-issued release was the last one.

“We are proud to be the owners of the NFL’s Cincinnati franchise,” Mike Brown said, on behalf of the Brown family.  “We are committed to steps that will continue the Bengals as an asset for Greater Cincinnati.”

That Brown would even mention keeping the team in “Greater Cincinnati” implies the existence of a possibility that the team would leave “Greater Cincinnati.”  It’s a possibility that has never been seriously mentioned, especially since the team plays in a fairly new stadium for which the taxpayers of “Greater Cincinnati” footed most if not all of the bill.

But now that the citizens of “Greater Cincinnati” aren’t showing up in sufficient numbers for the home games, maybe the money-conscious Mike Brown is pondering the dramatic increase in franchise value and revenue that would come from a move to a much larger market.  Sure, there’s a lease that would need to be handled (possibly with a large chunk of cash) and a relocation vote that would need to be approved by the other owners (definitely with an ever larger chunk of cash).  But the crunching of the numbers could result in the crunching of a lot more paper into the pockets of Mike Brown, if the team flees Ohio.

Regardless of his reason for mentioning ownership being “committed” to keeping the team in “Greater Cincinnati,” it would make no sense to mention staying unless there was a chance of leaving.

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71 Responses to “Mike Brown says he’s “committed” to keeping the Bengals in Cincinnati”
  1. trbowman says: Dec 23, 2011 1:00 PM

    Worst owner.

    Ever.

    Only Donald Sterling is worse.

  2. Soulman45 says: Dec 23, 2011 1:00 PM

    Frist to say
    Nothing is going to change.

  3. trainsaw says: Dec 23, 2011 1:02 PM

    Ickey Woods is rolling over in his grave

  4. Vegas Guy says: Dec 23, 2011 1:02 PM

    Cincinnati doesn’t want the team to leave.. they want Mike Brown to leave.

  5. contract says: Dec 23, 2011 1:02 PM

    If he can’t get fans to turn out for games in Cincinnati, how is he going to get anyone to turn out in LA?

  6. boopipes says: Dec 23, 2011 1:04 PM

    Bring the franchise to Portland and move the Vikings to LA. It would make for some sweet west-coast action. Westside till I die.

  7. jetsguy1117 says: Dec 23, 2011 1:08 PM

    “We are committed to steps that will continue the Bengals as an asset for Greater Cincinnati.”

    Either that’s an inaccurate quote, or Mike Brown was simply stating he would like to ensure that the Bengals are an ‘asset’ for greater Cincinnati, as opposed to a liability.

    I wish my employers let me put words in other people’s mouths. Would definitely make my day so much easier.

  8. sbxxix says: Dec 23, 2011 1:11 PM

    So let me get this straight, there are many cities out there starving for a team and yet Mike Brown is willing to settle for a city which has been ignoring this young talented team the whole season. Why? Are you trying to be loyal to your not so loyal fans? Move that team to LA and change your team name to siberian tigers and switch your colors to black and white. Imagine those uniforms in all black and white. That would be sweet.

  9. packerjb says: Dec 23, 2011 1:12 PM

    Not that I am a supporter of Mike Brown or the Cincinnati organization, but their statement said that were “committed to being an asset to the Cincinnati community”, which could be construed to mean they are committed to putting a quality product onto the field as to be an asset, as opposed to an also-ran in the AFC North.

  10. waitingguilty says: Dec 23, 2011 1:15 PM

    “We are committed to steps that will continue the Bengals as an asset for Greater Cincinnati.”

    How does this statement lead to “I’m keeping the team in Cincinnati?”

    It’s really a reach to try and read anything in that statement.

    A team being an asset could just mean he wants to improve the team so it’s more valuable in the community etc.

  11. Iamthatguy says: Dec 23, 2011 1:15 PM

    Why would they leave or move? The team fleeced the citizens and city for an absurdly team friendly lease.

  12. illbringdabeers says: Dec 23, 2011 1:15 PM

    Not happening. That stadium is too new. I thought I remembered reading somewhere that that stadium won some award not to long ago. I don’t see it happening.

  13. baywatchboy says: Dec 23, 2011 1:18 PM

    @trbowman

    Dan Snyder is worse

  14. backindasaddle says: Dec 23, 2011 1:21 PM

    Is he “committed” to winning?…..not so much.

  15. ranksarot says: Dec 23, 2011 1:22 PM

    There’s an NFL team in Cincinnati?

  16. mountaindont says: Dec 23, 2011 1:22 PM

    Mike Brown is the reason why ESPN ranked the Bengals franchise at dead last of all professional sports.
    For the past 15-20 years every decent player the Bengals have had has eventually wanted out of Cincinnati. Carl Pickens, Dan Wilkerson,Cory Dillon,Chad Johnson,Justin Smith, Takeo Spikes,Carson Palmer,etc All had to due with the way Mike Brown ran the franchise into the ground.
    I guarantee you the same will happen with AJ Green and Andy Dalton.
    Can anyone name the last decent free agent who wanted to come to Cincy ? Almost all the well known free agents that have come to cincy were players nobody else wanted.
    The Bengals have been horrible over the past 20 year and there has been only one thing that has been constant, Mike Brown

  17. bucsfan5000 says: Dec 23, 2011 1:25 PM

    Paul Brown is also rolling over in his grave.

  18. shotgunformation5wide says: Dec 23, 2011 1:25 PM

    Maybe they should look into a situation like the one in GreenBay. Where basically the city owns the team.

  19. contraryguy says: Dec 23, 2011 1:27 PM

    Sounds like bland CEO speak to me. Nothing to see here. Also, not sure why Greater Cincinnati is in quotes over and over, it’s a commonly-used term in the area, recognizing that the city itself is just the center of a much larger metro area.

  20. henson58 says: Dec 23, 2011 1:30 PM

    if u think there is a chance of them leaving you are effin dumb not happening. I think he was trying to say we bought the other third to ensure the Bengals stay a Cincy team. To read in to it anymore than that your a fool.

  21. emma333 says: Dec 23, 2011 1:30 PM

    Maybe the citizens of Cincinnati should be the focus for relocation for a change…They seem very complacent about their rising team.

  22. ticalcaldwell says: Dec 23, 2011 1:33 PM

    anything Jags, Vikes, Bills and Bengals front office news is going to get the same ol lame “LA team” garbage…right now…the team with the best chance is the Jags…they wont leave immediately but they have a pretty good chance in a few years

  23. realitypolice says: Dec 23, 2011 1:34 PM

    You say how money conscious he is, yet he refuses to take simple steps that would increase his revenue, like selling naming rights to his stadium.

  24. rajbais says: Dec 23, 2011 1:39 PM

    Yes, but your fans aren’t committed to you!!!

  25. cmp1213 says: Dec 23, 2011 1:41 PM

    Where do you get this stuff? Committed to keeping them an asset to Greater Cincinnati, means there was a chance they are leaving?? Wow, once again making a story out of nothing.

  26. otis52gsh says: Dec 23, 2011 1:44 PM

    He is the worst owner hands down. I feel sorry for the fans there.

  27. paulisrollin says: Dec 23, 2011 1:44 PM

    I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a line of words so misunderstood by a media type. He’s saying he wants the team to be an asset to the community. Period. Nowhere in there does it imply that he’s saying they’ve explored the option of leaving but are commited to staying. Wow, this article is way off base.
    Anyhow, I wish Mike Brown would sell the team and go retire somewhere. The guy can’t run a football team at all. He pays his daughter, son-in-law, nieces, nephews and cousins to do daily operations of the team. This is a mom and pop shop football team and it’s horrible. Yeah he comes out with a “successful” season every now and again. But you also have to look at what you define as successful. Do I consider this season successful? No. Would most other teams in the NFL? No. I believe they’ve exceeded expectations but by no means has it been successful. They’ve beat sub-par teams and have been beaten by sub-par teams. Mike Brown has 2 winning seasons in his 20 year tenure as an owner/gm. That doesn’t include the 1 or 2 8-8 seasons he has had b/c those aren’t considered “winning” seasons in my eyes. He doesn’t deserve to be running an NFL team.

  28. stoneydog1000 says: Dec 23, 2011 1:47 PM

    boomer esiason is rolling in his grave.

  29. Nevis says: Dec 23, 2011 1:50 PM

    If he’s thinking LA, he is in for a jolt. The NFL needs LA more than LA needs it.

  30. facelessman75 says: Dec 23, 2011 1:50 PM

    Dear mr brown. Your team sucks an you are notorius for being cheap. How you own a team boggles my mind. Until you get consistent , your fanbase will diminsh. Think they forgot about the 90’s??

  31. nineroutsider says: Dec 23, 2011 1:52 PM

    sbxxix says: Dec 23, 2011 1:11 PM

    So let me get this straight, there are many cities out there starving for a team and yet Mike Brown is willing to settle for a city which has been ignoring this young talented team the whole season. Why? Are you trying to be loyal to your not so loyal fans? Move that team to LA and change your team name to siberian tigers and switch your colors to black and white. Imagine those uniforms in all black and white. That would be sweet.
    ———————————————————-
    I used to think the same thing as well about Bengal fans, but I got set straight by a number of Bengal fans on here. The fans are locked in a showdown with Brown, it’s personal between the 2 sides, and I respect what they are doing. All fans should really. Brown doesn’t treat Bengal fans well at all. His dad had these same type of problems; very stubborn and egotistical. Bill Walsh outlined it fairly well in one of those NFL Films documentaries…

  32. Kaz says: Dec 23, 2011 1:56 PM

    Flo you really twisted this around. Slow news day though so I understand. Mike isn’t leaving Cinci. Where else is he going to get a free stadium? Everyone knows he has the best deal in the league. No one but you took that out of the statement.

  33. TurdSandwich says: Dec 23, 2011 1:57 PM

    I honestly would prefer they move the team over Brown remaining the owner.

  34. Kaz says: Dec 23, 2011 2:00 PM

    It’s a slow news day guys. If you hadn’t noticed.

  35. chillmodedlb says: Dec 23, 2011 2:00 PM

    Mike Brown and the Bengals are basically the NFL version of Pittsburgh Pirates. Mike Brown makes a ton of money whether the Bengals are highly competitive and/or relevant or they aren’t. He has no incentive to invest resources into winning a Super Bowl because he is already meeting his goal. Look at how he dealt with Carson Palmer this year and Chad Johnson a few years ago. He can’t let players force their way out of town because it would start a player revolt. Brown’s ego and greed will never allow this team to win championships. I don’t think the other owners would even allow him to move the Bengals to L.A. because it would rarely be a winning team and would fail miserably to build a fan base.

  36. tilafoo says: Dec 23, 2011 2:01 PM

    I live in Cincinnati but I’m from Louisiana and a die hard Saints fan. Everyone I’ve talked to about Mike Brown absolutely HATES this guy. Even at the games people are bashing him but the fans are loyal here so they keep up the support for the team. People here hate Mike so much because his dad was such a great man and loved the game incredibly so I think that’s what really fuels the hatred toward Mike because all this is is a business to Mike, he cares nothing about football. Paul is a legend here and Mike is destroying that with his greed. I know I know, much of this industry is about greed, hence the blackouts. I’m just relaying what I heard time and time again.

  37. davisjosh20 says: Dec 23, 2011 2:04 PM

    uh, Icky isnt dead. and baywatch, you are absolutely correct. out of all the absurd owners in the league, that everyone knows what they look like, why did Snyder decide he needed to be in an NFL apparel commercial? I showed that commercial to a lot of life long NFL fans, and out of the 20 or so who saw it, 4 knew who he was. and there was 5 Skins fans. One of the 4 who knew it was Dan Snyder in the commercial, was in the 5 that were Redskin fans. so, seriously, what was the point in him being in the ad?

  38. hikohadon says: Dec 23, 2011 2:10 PM

    “If he’s thinking LA, he is in for a jolt. The NFL needs LA more than LA needs it.”

    ______________

    Yeah, the NFL needs LA so badly that they’ve kept it empty for 17 years.

    LA is going to build a stadium for the sole purpose of luring a team. Everyone in the universe (except you, apparently) knows that SOME team is going to move into it.

  39. rarson says: Dec 23, 2011 2:21 PM

    “…maybe the money-conscious Mike Brown is pondering the dramatic increase in franchise value and revenue that would come from a move to a much larger market.”

    Even if the new fans are duped into padding his pockets, I doubt they’ll put up with it for as long as Cincinnati has, regardless of the city.

  40. cincyhokie says: Dec 23, 2011 2:22 PM

    Just when I was beginning to respect the credibility of this site…

    Nice spin job.

  41. earthtopft says: Dec 23, 2011 2:27 PM

    “Dutch” Knolton sold his share. But “Scotty” Van Rouvderenhoek will remain a minority owner.

  42. Robert says: Dec 23, 2011 2:43 PM

    Relax.

    Bengals are 8-6 and and could possible get the 6th seed playoff spot.

  43. goldsteel says: Dec 23, 2011 2:54 PM

    Well Bengals fans the good news is the Bengals will stay in Cincinnati and the bad news is the Bengals will stay in Cincinnati.

    GO STEELERS!

  44. peytonwantsaflag says: Dec 23, 2011 3:04 PM

    What’s with the quotations? “Greater Cincinnati is the area around Cincinnati that comprises Northern Ky and Southeast Indiana.

    Are you implying it’s not an actual place?

  45. undevelopedroll says: Dec 23, 2011 3:09 PM

    LA is the number two television market right behind NY. That is why New York has TWO teams. This is a business. Ad revenues and money from TV rights drive EVERYTHING.

    Los Angeles will get a team. Some team. From somewhere.

    Count on it.

  46. yettyskills says: Dec 23, 2011 3:15 PM

    Stop going to the games and force him to move the team, in a couple seasons you will get an expansion team with a legit owner.

    Or suffer another 20-30 years of the Browns

  47. cliverush says: Dec 23, 2011 3:19 PM

    The Brown Family seems unwilling to bring in a solid NFL style front office. Doing things on the cheap does not cut it when you compete against the Steelers and the Ravens.

  48. kingpel says: Dec 23, 2011 3:23 PM

    This clown deserves a punch in the face.

  49. ravenfan820 says: Dec 23, 2011 3:32 PM

    Take it from a former Colts fan and present Ravens fan…..

    This is shades of an equally bad owner Robert Irrsay….to my friends in Cincy….start fighting this now……

  50. job419 says: Dec 23, 2011 3:37 PM

    Akili Smith is rolling in his grave.

  51. ravensfan4life52 says: Dec 23, 2011 3:56 PM

    To be fair Dan Snyder is a worse owner.

  52. realitypolice says: Dec 23, 2011 4:20 PM

    ravensfan4life52 says:
    Dec 23, 2011 3:56 PM
    To be fair Dan Snyder is a worse owner.
    =================

    Really? You’d rather have an owner who won’t even hire a scouting department over one who is at least willing to spend money, however inept he may be at it?

  53. cgalaxy says: Dec 23, 2011 4:47 PM

    Yeah, as realitypolice said, at least Snyder is willing to spend money on a GM, scouts, etc and he genuinely cares about winning. He’s still horrible, don’t get me wrong, but he at least seems to care. The same can’t be said for Brown. Snyder is a close second for worst owner in the NFL, I’ll give you that. My friend who’s a hardcore Redskins fan who absolutely hates Snyder even admits Brown is worse…but not by much.

    That said, this article is quite a spin job, Mike. C’mon. What’s more crazy to me though is that none of these critical comments have been deleted yet. Whenever I criticize an article on here for being misleading, no matter how polite I am about it, the comment gets deleted. We’ll see if this one stays.

  54. takemytalentstosoutheuclid says: Dec 23, 2011 4:54 PM

    And yet they have managed to keep the team in Cinci for the past 43 years.. All this crap about L.A getting a team, but every NFL team that has played there has failed miserably and moved on. Just because you can support 2 MLB teams, and 1.5 NBA teams in L.A does not make it a football town.

  55. njhitman says: Dec 23, 2011 4:59 PM

    Thats because no other state will bring them in !! There all looking at the crime rate dam even LA said our crime rate would jump 100% just from the BenGal players

  56. curtainclosed says: Dec 23, 2011 5:35 PM

    Move ‘em to Columbus. They gotta better zoo. Jack Hanna can be the coach.

  57. enikville says: Dec 23, 2011 5:58 PM

    trainsaw says: Dec 23, 2011 1:02 PM

    Ickey Woods is rolling over in his grave

    No, Paul Brown is rolling over in his grave. Paul Brown was beyond a great coach and owner, he was an important figure in shaping what the NFL became. However, Mike Brown just plain sucks. The only thing I respect about him is that he refuses to name the stadium anything but after his father, which is well deserved.

  58. johnnyb216 says: Dec 23, 2011 6:19 PM

    Didn’t they just open a new stadium like 10 years ago? Yet another reason I will be voting against the Viking stadium.

  59. surly1n1nd1anapol1s says: Dec 23, 2011 6:50 PM

    The statement is vague enough that if you wish to court controversy you can do so easily. Of course that’s the sole purpose of this blog.

  60. laxrb says: Dec 23, 2011 7:31 PM

    Mike Brown committed to Cincinnati. That’s the worst news I’ve heard in a long time. What away to end the year.

  61. ravensfan4life52 says: Dec 23, 2011 8:03 PM

    @realitypolice

    Mike Brown unloaded Carson Palmer, who has been below average, Chad Ochocinco, who has been non-existent, and now has a great young QB, a great young WR, a very good defense, and a handful of new very nice draft picks. The Redskins have gone from a playoff contending team to a complete embarrassment of a team to a below average team while their owner sits back and does nothing. I would rather have Mike Brown, but that’s just me.

  62. northstars1991 says: Dec 23, 2011 9:14 PM

    COMMITTED TO KEEPING THE TEAM IN CINCINNATI???

    ARE YOU FOR REAL??????

    Correct me if I am wrong, BUT DIDN’T THE PEOPLE OF CINCINNATI JUST BUILD A RECENT NEW STADIUM?????

    Again, this is why teams need to be owned by the fans via public stock offerings. The comment itself is a disgrace to the people of Cincinnati.

    How in the world do you build a new stadium and not have the team locked their for 30-40 years? Are politicians really that stupid in Cincinnati?

  63. acieu says: Dec 23, 2011 9:27 PM

    Move them. No fan interest despite a competitive team.

  64. northstars1991 says: Dec 23, 2011 9:45 PM

    RE: the Packers.. The CITY does NOT own the Packers, it’s the fans who are the stockholders/owners, and I doubt they’ll be moving the franchise to L.A. anytime soon!

  65. northstars1991 says: Dec 23, 2011 9:49 PM

    Tired of being held hostage to creepy greedy controlling billionaire owners?? Then DEMAND that the NFL allow fans to become majority stockholders!

  66. northstars1991 says: Dec 23, 2011 9:52 PM

    If I lived in Cincinnati, right now I would want to know what the lease says. IF the Bengals are not locked into that Stadium for 30 years I’d be questioning every idiot politician and political leader who built such an expensive stadium only to NOT lock the team in.

  67. bonniebengal says: Dec 24, 2011 7:26 AM

    Of course he’s staying. He has a lease deal with basically makes the city pay for everything. Then the guy he worked out the lease deal with left employment with the city of Cincinnati and went to work for Mike Brown!!!! And that’s one of the reasons why people hate him. However, the words “committed to steps that will make the Bengals an asset to greater Cincinnati” does not imply anything about staying or leaving. It’s about making the Bengals an asset to the city. Right now they are not. MB is basically bleeding the city dry. Maybe he’s going to rework the lease. Maybe he’s going to step back and let Katie start to run the team. Who knows? But I see nothing about staying or leaving in those words.

  68. djsammmyskillz says: Dec 24, 2011 9:27 PM

    RIP Al Davis

  69. rozz513 says: Dec 25, 2011 11:57 PM

    Ickey Woods may be rolling over in his bed, but not his grave. He’s still kickin.

  70. rozz513 says: Dec 26, 2011 12:14 AM

    The reason fans aren’t showing up at the games is for a few reasons. 1. Everyone was upset when Mike Brown wouldn’t trade Palmer. Yeah, I know he eventually accepted a king’s ransom, but he wouldn’t have for anything less. 2. The ticket and concession prices are way to high, one of the highest in the league. 3. Hire a GM and some more scouts for god’s sake. If he got his way, we would have drafted Ryan Mallot in the 2nd round (literally)instead of Dalton. Everyone is just fed up with his cheap ways. We all just hope hitting him where it hurts(his pockets) sends the message loud and clear. A couple of press conferences announcing changes to any of these things, and following up on the promises would fill the stadium again.

  71. zephant0m says: Sep 11, 2012 9:19 PM

    I think that the long line of representatives from cities that Mike sees when he looks out his office window, who are waiting for Mike Brown to bring his team to them, so that they can build him a stadium and then tax their citizens broke, extort them to buy season tickets to watch a bunch of second rate players lose, while Mike stuffs his pockets with so much money that he hasn’t figured out to do with it all – is really a line of people from Cincinnati that just realized that Mike has not even used Vaseline on them, and they are PISSED OFF.

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