PAUL BROWN STADIUM
STADIUM DUDE’S NFL STADIUM RANK: #27
- Location: Cincinnati, OH
- Opened: 2000
- Capacity: 65,515
- Football Weather Misery Index: 48.0 (14th best of 23 outdoor venues)
- Games attended: 1
- Last visited: 2017
Welcome to the Jungle. We’ve got fun and meh.
Paul Brown Stadium is fine place to watch a football game. Sightlines are good. Fans often enter the stadium well-prepared for football after several hours of impressive tailgating and/or trips to the nice stretch of bars and restaurants between the baseball and football stadia. The Riverfront location is also nice for some pre-game strolling on a nice crisp fall day, perhaps with a traveler in hand. And the cost of attending is relatively low compared to other teams. (I was able to “splurge” for near-perfect seats on the 45-yard-line 25 rows up for less than the cost of what I usually pay for a pair in the upper bowl).
Alas, once inside the stadium, much of that electricity seemed to dissipate. The place isn’t always sold out, and the fans (perhaps inured by decades of execrable play by the home team) don’t seem as vested. It feels more like one of 81 home baseball games than one of 8 critical Sunday tilts. Plus there’s not a lot of team history or even team iconography around the stadium; unlike most places, it wasn’t totally obvious what team you’re cheering on just by looking at the stadium.
The taxpayers of Hamilton County had to pay nearly $424 million of the $449 million cost of the stadium. Owner Mike Brown, whose Dad’s name is on the building, seemed to get the sweetheart-iest of deals. The people of Cincinnati got a perfectly cromulent stadium.