Super Bowl spoils? Cincinnati Bengals get approval for long-awaited indoor practice bubble – Cincinnati Bengals Blog

CINCINNATI – The Cincinnati Bengals won’t have to practice in rain showers or snowstorms anymore.

On Friday, the city of Cincinnati’s planning commission unanimously approved the Bengals’ plans to have an indoor practice bubble near the team’s headquarters and stadium in downtown Cincinnati. The project, which will be located between the Brent Spence Bridge and the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge, is expected to be completed by the start of the 2022 season.

The move comes on the heels of one of the Bengals’ most successful seasons as they reached the Super Bowl for the first time in 33 years before losing to the Los Angeles Rams 23-20.

“I think it’s a wonderful time to be connected in some way to support the Bengals and going back to the Super Bowl,” commission chairman Byron Stallworth said when announcing the vote, adding a “Who Dey” at the end.

The franchise cited its postseason run in the ordinance application submitted on April 1. In addition to citing that “indoor practice facilities are standard among NFL teams” – the Bengals and the San Francisco 49ers are the only NFL franchises located above the 36th northern parallel without an indoor facility, according to ESPN’s research – the Bengals said the indoor bubble will allow the team to practice in spite of potential weather issues. for the first time in coach Zac Taylor’s three-year tenure.

Under Taylor, the team usually opted to practice inside Paul Brown Stadium during inclement weather, with the option to take buses to UC’s indoor bubble.

In the days following the Super Bowl, Taylor said the team had everything it needed to succeed and pointed out that the path to winning the AFC typically requires winning playoff games at outdoor stadiums in cold weather.

“We take a lot of pride, when you mention facilities, being a very tough team that doesn’t complain about being out in the elements,” Taylor said. “We’re prepared for it, and I think it served us very well this year.”

The Bengals’ proposed bubble will feature 100 yards of playing turf and can be deconstructed as needed.

The move was set in motion in a 2018 agreement between Hamilton County, the Bengals and Hilltop Companies, a construction company located near Paul Brown Stadium.

From a long-term perspective, the move could signal a cooperation between Hamilton County and the Bengals, whose stadium lease with the county is set to end in 2026.

The bubble is anticipated to operate for only the 2022 season, according to county documents. The franchise is planning for the possibility of a more permanent facility once more adjacent Hilltop property acquired by Hamilton County becomes available.

But for now, the Bengals continue to add a key franchise piece that keeps them in line with other teams in the NFL. Last year, Cincinnati became the latest to introduce a ring of honor, a project spearheaded by Elizabeth Blackburn, the team’s director of strategy and engagement and granddaughter of team president Mike Brown. The Bengals believe adding an indoor bubble will also make them more attractive to prospective players.

“[The bubble] will ensure … the team is optimally positioned to compete with other NFL clubs to continue attracting high-impact free agent players, ”the Bengals said in their ordinance request.

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