HamCo lawmaker fired up over Bengals new family section - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

HamCo lawmaker fired up over Bengals new family section

By Kimberly Holmes – bio | email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19)  - The Bengals are creating a "family section" at Paul Brown Stadium next season, but the idea has one local lawmaker fired up.

Game day can sometimes means drinking, cursing and rowdiness. It's all behavior that can be annoying if you're single, and a whole lot worse if you're a parent with children.

"That's probably one of the reasons why we don't like going down to the stadium," said Carolyn Cherry. "Because of the atmosphere: the rowdiness, the drinking, and you have to worry about the kids seeing that."

But starting next season, Carolyn Cherry will be able to take her family to Paul Brown Stadium, and avoid all of that by sitting in the new "family section." It includes 300 seats to be staffed with a guard who makes sure no one drinks or gets out of hand.

"I think they should expand it," said Cherry. "I think we're kind of outnumbered. You know? When you have the people that want to be like that and if you want to get away from it, it's kind of hard."

Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune couldn't agree more.

"My take on this is that the whole stadium ought to be fan friendly," said Portune. "Not just 300 seats in the peanut gallery."

On Friday, Portune fired off this email to councilman and Benagls ticket sales director Jeff Berding. Portune argues the seats are too high. The section is located in section 347 in the east canopy.

"Don't set aside a section of the worst seats in the stadium as your fan friendly seats," Portune said. "Make them something that's attractive."

"I think Hamilton County built a beautiful stadium with every seat a great seat for our fans," said Berding. "I know when we're out walking the building, fans think that every seat provides a great view."

Portune also wrote: "If you're going to allow jerks, give them the 300 peanut gallery seats. Adopt a policy that any fan exhibiting the kind of behavior that is unacceptable immediately forfeits their seat to a fan sitting in the worst seat in the stadium and authorize your ushers to escort them promptly to that location, in exchange for the fan in the worst seat now getting the better view."

"We'll do better do commissioner Portune suggests," said Berding. "We actually throw them out of the building. We don't put them in the last row."

Sixteen NFL teams have similar seating sections. Berding also said the Reds have had a family section for three years.

"I like the first idea of the just one section," said Bengals fan Lindsey Brown. "It would be better. I think doing the whole thing would be a bit over the top, and people really wouldn't like that very much."

Berding said this is the second time they've cracked down on rowdy fans. The Bengals created a so-called "jerk line" in 2006. He said fans call it the hotline every game to report badly behaving fans. The number is 381-JERK.

Berding said, in the last five days, they've had a number of fans calling to buy seats in the new family section.

Tickets will cost between $60 to $65. To purchase family section seating, contact the Bengals Ticket Hotline: 866-621-TDTD.

 

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email Commissioner Todd Portune sent to Bengals director of sales Jeff Berding:

Dear Jeff:

As one of the representatives of the owner of Paul Brown Stadium, Hamilton County, which sits as the Cincinnati Bengals' Landlord with respect to use of the stadium, I write in reaction to today's article about the establishment of a family friendly zone at PBS. In a story that turns "the three Rs" on its head, we now have teams and the league needing to take action to limit raunchiness, rowdiness and rancorous behavior inside of NFL City stadia.

Ignoring the obvious - that the fact that you even have to consider this kind of action speaks volumes about the new lows to which a large number of "fans" have gone - setting aside only 300 seats in one of the worst view sections does not, in my opinion, reflect an effective commitment to curb bad behavior. On the contrary, it almost sends the reverse impression.

The whole stadium should be fan friendly. If you're going to allow jerks, give them the 300 peanut gallery seats. Adopt a policy that any fan exhibiting the kind of behavior that is unacceptable immediately forfeits their seat to a fan sitting in the worst seat in the stadium and authorize your ushers to escort them promptly to that location, in exchange for the fan in the worst seat now getting the better view. Keep the rest for the fans, and their children, that we can all be proud of.

Todd Portune

 

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