Letter: 47-year Bengals season ticket holder explains difficult decision

Letter from a now former Bengals Season Ticket Holder

I received the letter posted below from a 47-year Bengals season ticket holder last week.

They attended their final game on December 29, 2019.


Dear Lance….

Last month ended a 47 year era as a Bengals season ticket holder. It was a sad day and a day of reflection and wanted to share some thoughts….

1972: My father purchased the 1st set of Bengals Season Tickets Section 250, Row 9, Seat 1-4 at Riverfront Stadium from A E Knolton who was on the Board of the Bengals, 

1978: Purchased second set of Bengals Season Tickets Section 253, Row 2, Seat 1-2 at Riverfront Stadium, center of the end-zone! My original seats.

1981: 1st time going 12-4 and winning the AFC Central Division. January 1980 Freezer Bowl AFC Champions against the San Diego Chargers.

January 1982 – Pontiac Michigan – loss to San Francisco in Super Bowl XVI

1983: Fellow season ticket holders snuck champagne into the stadium to celebrate my wedding reception.

1988: My son was born and was brought home in a Bengals sleeper. Second time going 12-4 and winning AFC Central Division. January 1989 AFC Champions against Buffalo Bills.

January 1989 in Miami lost to San Francisco with :34 seconds left in Super Bowl XVIII

1991: Legend Paul Brown passes away and Mike Brown takes over the ownership of the Bengals.

The 90’s and the down years….Had great tailgate parties and oh yea, went to a games….

1996: Hamilton County “Stadium Vote” for Paul Brown Stadium

September 2000 First Home Game against the Cleveland Browns in new Paul Brown Stadium

The fighting with Mike Brown and the Bengals begins. The move requires new seat locations at PBS. Requested end-zone undercover on the isle like we had at Riverfront. Received end-zone on the isle…. 2 out of 3. Letter writing with Mike Brown & ticket office to prove those seats located undercover had lower account number than ours. 2001 relocated! Requested parking in the garage like we had at Riverfront. Assigned along the river in the motor-home lot on the opposite end of the stadium than our seats. 2002 moved to Lot C

2005: Parking lots start to be eliminated. Moved to Lot D

2012: Season Tickets totaled 22. 

2015: Cincinnati started out the 2015 season with an 8-0 record, the best start in franchise history. The team finished the year 12-4. However, the team was eliminated in a first-round wild card game for the fifth straight year, this time against divisional rival Steelers. Leading 16-15 near the end of the fourth quarter, Lewis faced criticism for not keeping his players under control after penalties drawn by Vontaze Burfict and Adam Jones moved the Steelers into field goal range and allowed them to make a game-winning kick with eighteen seconds remaining. The defeat made Marvin Lewis the first NFL coach to lose seven postseason games without any wins and the Bengals the first NFL team to lose five straight playoff games in the opening round. 

Parking lot moved to Lot #1. When I objected, they removed my parking altogether! After a personal meeting with Bob Bedinghaus, parking reinstated in Lot #1 (to this date our old spaces in Lot D still exist)


2018: Season Ticket Account drops to a total of 8 and the end of the Marvin Lewis era….

2019: The almost -0- for year….can’t give tickets away… Mike Brown and the current ownership makes money for themselves and has no interest in supporting this fan base or the community. Games including the Steelers game had the stadium about ½ empty and ½ of those fans in gold and black. How sad to see a great rivalry end this way.

December 29, 2019 Browns vs Bengals the FINAL GAME!! The end of this season ticket holders 47 years as a supporter of this team. Surrounded by 22 past ticket holders we celebrated all the goods times and remembered those that had passed on. The sad part is the one person who needs to know doesn’t care….So Mike Brown, as tears were in my eyes as I left PBS on that Sunday, just know the only one to blame is you. As I said in my final toast before the game….I hope it is all worth it to you!! Reflecting the last few weeks, after the passing of Sam Wyche, I wonder what could have been in my last 47 years, and in my son’s lifetime. And now he won’t share that with my granddaughter as my father shared with his grandson. I’m not sure what will we do on a fall Sundays…

John B.

Former Season Ticket Holder


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