The Bengals celebrate their 50th season in 2017. The occasion will include a logo worn on the home and road uniforms.
“Since we were formed in 1968, we have enjoyed great support – first at Nippert Stadium, then at Riverfront Stadium, and now at Paul Brown Stadium,” owner Mike Brown said in an open letter to fans. “Throughout all those years, there has been one constant: you, our fans. We appreciate your support, and I say ‘thank you’ on behalf of the entire organization. We look forward to celebrating our team’s history with you this season.”
The 50th anniversary comes at a time when questions have begun to surface regarding the team’s long-term viability in Cincinnati. With public money harder and harder to come by, the Bengals eventually will need a stadium solution after their lease expires in 2026. As three teams have demonstrated since January 2016, the Bengals’ solution could entail a relocation.
For now, though, the Bengals remain firmly a part of Cincinnati. Even with more failure than success on the field, the team has done well enough to continue to draw fans and to be successful in their home state.
“I don’t know what our 50th season will hold for us,” Brown writes. “We have a good team, yet the NFL is a tough league. Will this be our season? I hope so. If I had my choice, our 50th season would give you a lifetime of memories, much as you have given me a lifetime of memories. I am thankful to you, and though the simple words ‘thank you’ seem inadequate, for me they really say it all.”
The Bengals made the playoffs every year from 2011 through 2015 before missing the postseason a year ago. Coach Marvin Lewis is entering the final year of his current contract, and he has said that he doesn’t anticipate signing a new deal before the season ends.