Mayor Cranley worried music venue at The Banks will burden taxpayers

Mayor Cranley worried music venue at The Banks will burden taxpayers
The Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved a contract to purchase Hilltop Basic Resources. (Source: Provided by Hamilton County)

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley says he’s glad The Banks music venue deal is moving forward, but he’s also concerned about the burden for taxpayers.

“I remain deeply concerned that there is this evergreen commitment that the taxpayers have to keep putting money into the stadiums and to the benefit of the teams without a vote of the people. There has been no commitment in return that the Bengals will stay longer," he said.

The Bengals want the Hilltop property for additional parking and tailgating in exchange for allowing the music venue to be built next to Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals’ lease with the county gives the team veto rights in the vicinity of the stadium, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

“They get to pocket the benefit of this land. They can take it any time they want for a practice facility. They get all the revenues from game days. They get guaranteed capital repairs for another 10 years... and yet there is no commitment from the Bengals to stay longer. It strikes me that in a couple years... maybe in 10 years... they will come back for a whole new round of goodies,” Cranley said.

On Tuesday, the Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved a contract to buy 17 acres from Hilltop Basic Resources, allowing the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra to develop the venue set to open in fall of 2020.

The 4,500 capacity music venue and the 8,500 capacity Smale Park event lawn/greenspace are scheduled to open in the fall of 2020.

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