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Bengals threaten to veto proposed site for new concert venue at The Banks

Rendering for a concert venue at The Banks from PromoWest. (Photo: PromoWest) Rendering for a concert venue at The Banks from PromoWest. (Photo: PromoWest)

The Cincinnati Bengals have threatened to veto the proposed site of a new concert venue at The Banks that would be operated by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

According to our media partners at the Cincinnati Enquirer, the group that makes recommendations for developments at The Banks selected the CSO as the preferred developer for a new concert venue early last month.

The orchestra has proposed building a $19.25 million, three-story venue on a parcel known as Lot 27, southeast of Paul Brown Stadium near Smale Riverfront Park.

But the Bengals' stadium lease with Hamilton County gives the team the right of first refusal for any development there.

Bob Bedinghaus, the team's director of business development, told Councilman David Mann that the Bengals want to preserve the site for tailgating and would veto a concert venue at Lot 27.

Mann disclosed his conversation with Bedinghaus at a regular council meeting Wednesday attended by an Enquirer reporter.

Neither a Bengals spokesman nor the team's lawyers immediately responded to telephone calls for comment.

The Bengals' objection was news to orchestra officials. Mike Smith, the head of the symphony's music management group, said he didn't know about the Bengals' decision and didn't have a comment on Wednesday. 

The Joint Banks Steering Committee, which makes recommendations for The Banks, chose the orchestra as a preferred developer. Their decision was not binding because both the city and the county have to approve the developer.

Two other concert promoters, PromoWest and Live Nation, also submitted proposals for concert venues at The Banks, but not at the same location as the orchestra. 

Mayor John Cranley, who had expressed his support for PromoWest. "My own view, after having gone to Bunbury (music festival) all weekend, is that a concert venue will help the vibrancy of The Banks.

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