Bengals defend $10-per-ticket pep rally

Getty Images

There are actually three certainties in life:  death, taxes, and the Bengals being accused of being cheap.

The latest example of Cincinnati parsimony arises in connection with the decision to hold training camp at the team’s facility, for the first time ever — a move driven in whole or in part by, you guessed it, cost.

To commemorate the event, the team has invited season-ticket holders to a pep rally and concert at Paul Brown Stadium.  But the tickets aren’t free; they cost $10 each. has criticized the Bengals of “squeezing out a few bucks” from their most loyal fans.  Bengals spokesman Jeff Berding takes issue with that characterization, according to Janice Morse of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Berding pointed out that the event will cost the team “north of six figures” for a band, fireworks, security, and other expenses.  Berding also explained a “focus group” said that the fee was no big deal.

“I think most people think this is a pretty neat thing,” Berding said.

The question isn’t whether it’s “neat”; the question is whether there’s a way to do this without soaking $10 out of everyone who attends.  Especially since the franchise has soaked millions out of the taxpayers in putting together one of the sweetest sweetheart deals that any NFL team enjoys.

55 responses to “Bengals defend $10-per-ticket pep rally

  1. Well given the fact that there will be no post season revenue they might as well get preseason revenue.

  2. Just another reason why this franchise continues to being a joke in the NFL. The Bengals should be offering fans incentives to attend their pracices.

  3. …and I thought the third certainty would be the presence of Bengals players in the police blotter each and every year.

    (Their cat-cousins in Detroit got that covered this year).

  4. No sympathy for Mike Brown being called cheap. Ever. Several years ago I was at a hot summer game and the club F’d up something with their beverage vendor. The stadium was 100 plus degrees in the concrete and they had no drinks and no ice anywhere in the stadium. So Mike Brown made the genius decision to sell warm, tap water in beer cups for 8 bucks. He is an evil SOB and I hope he is as dehydrated as I was that day when he gets to Hell.

  5. The awkward thing is they’d have to pay ME to watch the Bengals in training camp. It’s training camp! These fans are giving you thousands for season tickets, possibly more with PSLs. Unbelievable.

  6. Baltimoresohard and chokes all the time. Arrow up. The bengals will beat the ravens twice this year.

  7. Well, at least Brown is targeting the most fleeceable people in the area. To them, it probably isn’t a big deal, but to everyone else, this demonstrates one more time what a greedy bastard Brown really is.

  8. Mike, you should be ashamed of yourself. You are virtually killing the team that your father built! You have no worries a stadium will EVER be named after you! And I am a lifelong Bengals fan!

  9. Don’t feel too bad Bengal fans. Mike Brown is charging his family 20 bucks a head to attend

  10. “focus group”? The team first spent money on a focus group to check and see how their fans would react to being asked to pay $10 for a freaking pep rally? Frick me! They Should’ve saved that money and just charged everyone $8 and tell them to be glad its not $10 cause you were gonna ask a focus group first. Glad I’m a saints fan and only have to worry about how is the team gonna get this Brees contract done…

  11. Still not as bad as how Mike Brown screwed the Raiders into giving away draft picks like they were Halloween candy.

  12. Since the Bungals open their season in Baltimore in the Monday night game they’ll need the extra cash for all the body bags they’ll have to buy for all their injured players

  13. Most fan fests do cost some money, but the reality is that it’s a possibility to meet all the players, get free souvenirs, play games, etc. Isn’t this just practice?

    To continue, this is the Bungles and they don’t know how to ask for money because they hardly spend a dollar on anything/anybody.
    Welcome to Price Gouging 101 from the Browns!!!

  14. inthezone4 says:Jul 9, 2012 10:33 PM

    Baltimoresohard and chokes all the time. Arrow up. The bengals will beat the ravens twice this year.


    LOL, you bengal fans are so cute. Now run along and leave the football trash talk to the big boys, Baltimore and Pittsburgh.

  15. schmitty2 says:
    Jul 9, 2012 11:29 PM
    Don’t feel too bad Bengal fans. Mike Brown is charging his family 20 bucks a head to attend
    Yes and no to that, he’ll just deduct the $20 from their paychecks. 😀

    To the fan who was talking about the beverage vendor situation, wow…just wow. There’s frugality then there’s penny wise and pound foolish. Not to mention just plain WRONG to treat fans like that when the situation is really the fault of people you hired.

  16. “Especially since the franchise has soaked millions out of the taxpayers in putting together one of the sweetest sweetheart deals that any NFL team enjoys.”


    The taxes the voters voted for to pay for the stadium has nothing to do with the deal over concessions, maintenance, etc. They city/county was insistent on dictating the site so could develop “The Banks” and what will be more tax dollars by the time the project is finished than tax payers shelled out for their portion of the stadium. The only difference is people voted for the stadium tax. The city just uses taxpayers money for the Banks, and leaves the rest of the city in shambles, over what amounts to an extremely unpopular project. If the city had the taxpayers interest in mind the deal wouldn’t have been so sweet. That deal was done for cronies of the County Commissioner, and City Planner. What Mike Brown did was assure the Bengals would stay in Cincy for years and decades to come, by ensuring that a sustainable maintenance and upgrade plan existed. One, unlike some other stadiums, that was designed to make it last and not let it rot like so many others.

  17. The Ravens are doing the same thing with training camp as the Bengals (holding it at their complex for the first time). They are, however, hosting three practices off-site (one at M&T Bank Stadium, one at Navy’s Stadium in Annapolis, and one at al local small college) for fans. The practices are free and open to the public! Funny how they (the Ravens) can find a way to pay for these, but the Bungals can’t…just sayin’.

  18. “ravenmuscle says: Jul 10, 2012 12:50 AM

    Since the Bungals open their season in Baltimore in the Monday night game they’ll need the extra cash for all the body bags they’ll have to buy for all their injured players”

    At least until Ray Lewis retires it isn’t a bad idea to stock a few.

  19. So the teams around the League have decided to keep training camp at home yet the Bengals do it and they are cheap? Lame. $10 for a concert isn’t bad at all. Not sure what the fuss is all about besides it’s the offseason.

  20. ravenmuscle says:
    Jul 10, 2012 12:50 AM
    Since the Bungals open their season in Baltimore in the Monday night game they’ll need the extra cash for all the body bags they’ll have to buy for all their injured players


    Well we were sort of forced to do this after that Bengals/Ravens charity basketball game idea fell through. Shame that T-Sizzle could make it. Heard he ended up tearing his achilles “working out”

  21. Lose the concert and fireworks and just have regular training camp, and make it FREE! All the fans want is FOOTBALL. Glad to be a Texans Fan. 6-8 training camp practices are free, “fun zone” for kids, great times.

  22. the franchises that work for their money instead of whining and being subsidized by their city and the rest of the league have developed partnerships with companies which subsidize these type of events to have their name associated with the team.

    of course, this assumes the team has a positive association with the fanbase. it also requires the team to invest (the real businessmen in the nfl know you spend money to make money) in the marketing of the team, and by creating value for your business partners.

    the quotes from mike brown’s mouthpiece indicate he doesn’t spend much in this area, and he gets what he pays for…..

  23. …so they’re paying ten bucks to watch the players wave hello, a group of middle aged rockers play cover tunes, and fireworks that could have been seen for free on the fourth of July? Yippie!!!

  24. You’d think they could find some corporate sponsors to defray the cost. The Texans hold training camp in their own facilities and have a number of open sessions that require tickets, but they are given away for free. And they have the normal host of companies with booths, games for the kids, etc. I assume they are making their money off of those companies, and off the increased buzz about the team.

    I can see why Bengals fans would be put out by this.

  25. Bengals could get around this is if they opened the books to what the event costs.. and donated every dime over that to a local charity.

    Note: They won’t do that.

  26. You all act like 10 bucks is a fortune. You almost pay that much for a beer at a game. The only reason that this is news is because it’s the Bengals. Another biased hate towards the “joke” franchise. You better believe if the Patriots or Steelers would have done this, it wouldn’t be a big deal. Who else is sick of the Bengals bashing?

  27. That argument lacks validity, t8tertot, because those franchises WOULDN’T do it. I don’t know about the Pats, but I’ve been to the Steelers training camp and there’s TONS of free practices, the players are great about signing autographs, and there’s an amazing amount of free activities in the Fan Zone. The only thing you might spend money on is food and drinks at the concessions and they only charge what the college usually charges.

    But the difference here, of course, is that the Steelers know how to run a franchise whereas the Bengals only know how to run a franchise into the ground……

  28. The stadium deal is a misunderstood and terribly complex issue, and has to be viewed within the context of the political makeup of Hamilton county in 1995-1996 when the deal was negotiated. And also the booming economy at the time, that the city/county made erroneous projection’s off of. Secondly there is the issue of the county using tax money from the stadium tax for other development projects. Largely “The Banks” project by the riverside. Take this section from a Wall Street Journal investigation into the issue printed last year:

    County Auditor Dusty Rhodes initially supported the stadium deal—partly as a matter of civic pride. But now he feels differently about the costly legacy that has grown in the arenas’ shadow—and believes there’s plenty of blame to go around.

    The county, he underscores, has used some of the tax dollars earmarked for the stadium on things like a road project and a new waterfront development. “They just went nuts spending this money for stuff that was not envisioned,” he says.

    I can’t possibly cover this whole issue in a comment. But the WSJ article is the definitive independent investigation of this issue, and is worth a read. They do blame the team, but put the bulk of the blame on the city, county & the surrounding counties and the state for not pitching in. Here’s a link:

  29. nyyjetsknicks says: Jul 9, 2012 10:12 PM

    They also plan on getting the $.05 back for all can and bottle deposits.

    Speaking of recycling, I see all the same lame Bengal jokes have been posted once again.

  30. Another thought…when the articles started running that this was being criticized, keep in mind that WhoDeyRevolution was the only source of the criticism. It isn’t like there was this giant season ticket holder outcry of complaint. WDR’s sole purpose is to pressure Mike Brown into stepping down as GM, and meeting a host of other “demands”. They only run articles criticizing him and the team. They haven’t had much to work with since the regular season started last year. So now they are reduced to villifying him over issues like this. I mean I don’t how I feel about it…I’m not a season ticket holder…just a fan of 32 years. But I would think that you just wouldn’t go if you thought it was a ripoff. And logic dictates that the ultimate judge of whether it was fair or not, will be how many people actually show up.

  31. So we are bashing supply and demand? Nobody has to pay anything. Dont go if u don’t it.

    How is this a story? Off season. Sigh.

  32. This has been made into something way more dramatic than it should be. It’s really not that big of a deal. What the Bengals are doing is actually a really good thing…. getting the fans more involved. It’s not like the training camp practices cost anything. If you want to watch the team you pay for parking and get a free ticket to watch. Like most things Bengal related, the media has once again blown this out of proportion. Ever heard of Reds Fest? They charge too! People just like to be much, much more critical of the Bengals even when there is no story. If you can’t stand the organization so much, and feel the need to complain so often, just find another team.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.