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Paul Brown Stadium

Our guide to Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati includes information on events, tickets, parking, public transportation, nearby hotels and restaurants, seating and more. Read on to find out how to get the most out of your gameday experience.

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When the Cincinnati Bengals moved into Paul Brown Stadium in 2000, the franchise was in the midst of a downturn that saw them miss the playoffs for 15 straight years.

So it’s understandable that it took a little while for the new palace on the banks of the Ohio River to become a sought-after destination for NFL fans. Slowly, though, the team became competitive again and has had its share of success over the last decade (though it still has yet to win a playoff game since 1990).

Despite the doldrums and the heartbreak, Bengals fans remain loyal and continue to represent at Paul Brown Stadium, filling the air with their “Who Dey!” chants. Not only do they have a beautiful stadium to visit, they also can get their NFL fix in a great locale. There’s plenty to do in downtown Cincinnati, and the stadium’s location lends a lot to the gameday experience.

Inside, the franchise puts its proud history on display, beginning with the very name of the joint, which honors the man who brought the Bengals into existence.

And architecturally, the stadium stands out, as it was the only football venue to make a 2007 list of “America’s Favorite Buildings and Structures.”


One memorable moment at Paul Brown Stadium

The Bengals’ playoff futility means they haven’t been able to author many postseason memories at Paul Brown Stadium. But during their first season there in 2000, running back Corey Dillon rushed for 278 yards in a Week 8 victory over the Denver Broncos, breaking the single-game rushing record that was held by Walter Payton.

The approach: Getting to Paul Brown Stadium

The center of sports in Cincinnati is the swath of land between the Ohio River and Interstate 71 as it cuts across the downtown area — there you’ll find not only Paul Brown Stadium, but also Great American Ball Park (home of the Reds) and U.S. Bank Arena (which hosts the Cincinnati Cyclones of minor-league hockey).

Getting to the area isn’t difficult if you’re traveling via highway, whether you’re coming from Ohio or neighboring Kentucky. Look for downtown exits to Second Street (if you’re on I-75) or Third Street (if you’re on I-71 or I-471), but either way you’ll have to work your way around downtown streets to get close to the stadium. Click here for more detailed driving directions or to purchase advance parking passes for Paul Brown Stadium events.

Starting off downtown isn’t a bad thing if you’re a one-time visitor, as the lots closest to the stadium and south of Second Street are permit-only. Your general parking choices for Paul Brown Stadium are limited to private structures around downtown office buildings, the structure underneath Great American Ball Park, or lots in Covington, across the river.

Fans who choose the latter can walk across one of two bridges to cross the river — the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge, which is closer to the stadium, and the historic Roebling Suspension Bridge, the design of which was the inspiration for the Brooklyn Bridge. Or, if you’d rather not walk from Covington, the TANK Southbank Shuttle operates between the two sides and can be used to access Paul Brown Stadium on gamedays.

If you’re staying in a hotel either in downtown Cincinnati or Covington, you’ll likely find that walking to Paul Brown Stadium is most convenient.

Fountain Square, a central gathering point downtown and home of perhaps the city’s most well-known landmark, has a parking structure that charges $10 for Bengals games, and hosts a pregame tailgate to boot. From there, you have about a five-block walk to the stadium — but note that as you walk toward the river, you’ll be going downhill, so be prepared for some uphill walking as you head back.

Cincinnati hotels near Paul Brown Stadium
Hyatt Regency Cincinnati – 0.3 miles away
AC Hotel by Marriott Cincinnati at The Banks – 0.4 miles away
Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza – 0.4 miles away
Search for more Cincinnati hotels on Booking.com.

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The build-up: Things to do around Paul Brown Stadium

When the city of Cincinnati replaced the cookie-cutter Riverfront Stadium (also known as Cinergy Field) with Paul Brown Stadium and Great American Ball Park, they also set about revamping the riverfront area.

The site on which Riverfront Stadium once stood now is home to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, as well as several bars and restaurants that are good for fans looking for pregame fun (Yard House, Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Moerlein Lager House are among the current establishments). There are a couple hotels in this area, as well, which are convenient to both Paul Brown Stadium and Great American Ball Park.

There’s a greater selection of restaurants and bars in downtown Cincinnati proper as well as Covington, where any number of eateries are more than happy to cater to football fans.

If it’s your first visit to Cincinnati, consider sampling its local cuisine. You can try Cincinnati-style chili in the form of either a coney (basically a mini chili cheese hot dog) or a 3-way (spaghetti topped with chili and cheese) at one of the city’s well-known chili purveyors, Skyline Chili or Gold Star Chili. Or try Graeter’s Ice Cream, a beloved local institution which has a shop at Fountain Square.

Outside the stadium, the Bengals’ pregame party, known as the Jungle Zone, is held on the east plaza along Elm Street.

Cincinnati restaurants near Paul Brown Stadium
Taste of Belgium – The Banks – Belgian, 0.2 miles away
Pies & Pints – pizza, 0.3 miles away
Kitty’s Sports Grill – pub, 0.3 miles away
Search for more Cincinnati restaurants on Tripadvisor.

Paul Brown Stadium events tickets parking hotels seating food

Photo credit: Robert Batina/Flickr

The ambiance: Watching a game at Paul Brown Stadium

Paul Brown Stadium is known by fans as “The Jungle” because of the team that plays there, and the Bengals put up jungle-themed decorations around the seating bowl to help enhance that feel.

Other than that, though, it’s a sleek structure with good sightlines throughout for football (a fact that hasn’t been lost on the architectural community), a nice view of the downtown Cincinnati skyline behind the stands on the stadium’s east side and a nice view of the Ohio River beyond the south end zone.

In fact, Paul Brown Stadium seems to have a lot in common architecturally with Chicago’s Soldier Field, which underwent its big renovation not long after Cincinnati’s stadium opened. Not only do both venues have similar canopies shading the upper deck and end-zone displays taking on odd geometrical shapes, but outside the seating bowl, both have seemingly endless series of ramps as well.

Also, Paul Brown Stadium is one of those stadiums where, if you have upper-deck seating, you need to be sure you’re on the correct side of the stadium before you ascend — if you’re on the wrong side, you’ll have to go all the way back down to the main concourse before heading around.

If you do have seating up top at Paul Brown Stadium, you might find the view to be somewhat far-removed, with some of the 300-level sections rising to 35 rows. The stadium’s oval shape makes up for that, though, as it ensures that nearly every seat is angled toward the middle of the field.

The stadium has tried to improve its concessions options over the years, now offering melt sandwiches, gourmet burgers and a wider craft beer selection. Some standbys remain, including Gold Star Chili and Papa John’s Pizza.

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    The Particulars

    Home Teams
    Cincinnati Bengals

    Address
    1 Paul Brown Stadium
    Cincinnati, OH 45202

    Year Opened
    2000

    Capacity
    65,515

    Upcoming Events
    All times local
    Preseason: Minnesota Vikings at Cincinnati Bengals
    Friday, August 21, 2020
    7:00 pm
    Get tickets at SeatGeek »

    Preseason: Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals
    Thursday, September 3, 2020
    7:00 pm
    Get tickets at SeatGeek »

    Los Angeles Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals
    Sunday, September 13, 2020
    4:05 pm
    Get tickets at SeatGeek »

    Jacksonville Jaguars at Cincinnati Bengals
    Sunday, October 4, 2020
    1:00 pm
    Get tickets at SeatGeek »

    Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals
    Sunday, October 25, 2020
    1:00 pm
    Get tickets at SeatGeek »


    View Seating Chart »