Bengals football returns to Paycor: What to know ahead of Friday’s game

The Bengals host the Packers in the preseason opener Friday at Paycor Stadium.
Published: Aug. 11, 2023 at 7:34 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Bengals football returns to Paycor Stadium for the first in 208 days.

The last time Who Dey Nation filled the seats at Paycor, Sam Hubbard sent the crowd into a frenzy with a 98-yard fumble recovery touchdown to secure the win against division foe Baltimore.

While Hubbard and most starters won’t play in Friday’s preseason opener against the Green Bay Packers, there will be excitement in the air as fans look forward to what should be another promising year for the Bengals.

Multiple downtown Cincinnati streets will close before, during and after Bengals games this season, including Friday’s 7 p.m. preseason opener.

The following roads will close pregame about 3-4 hours before kick-off to handle pedestrian crowds and, unless listed on the postgame list, will reopen when the game begins:

  • Elm Street between Second Street and Mehring Way
  • Freedom Way between Elm Street and Race Street
  • Freedom Way between Joe Nuxhall Way and Race Street (Bengals Tailgate Zone)
  • Race Street south of Third Street

The following roads will be restricted:

  • Rosa Parks Street south of Second Street
  • Marian Spencer Way between Second Street and Freedom Way
  • Joe Nuxhall Way between Second Street and Mehring Way

These roads will shut down around the third quarter of all home games to protect pedestrians and to accommodate vehicles driving out of parking lots. They will remain closed until traffic has cleared the area:

  • Central Avenue between West Pete Rose Way and Mehring Way
  • Central Avenue southbound only between Seventh Street and Mehring Way
  • Elm Street between Second Street and Mehring Way
  • Race Street south of Second Street
  • Freedom Way between Rosa Parks Street and Elm Street
  • Joe Nuxhall Way southbound between Second Street and Mehring Way
  • Mehring Way westbound at Johnny Bench Way
  • Gest Street southbound between Third Street and Mehring Way
  • Third Street eastbound between Clay Wade Bailey Bridge and Central Avenue
  • Second Street from southbound Clay Wade Bailey Bridge
  • Fourth Street between Elm Street and Plum Street
  • West Pete Rose Way eastbound between Gest Street and Central Avenue
  • NO LEFT TURN from Third Street or Sixth Street to southbound Central Avenue

Fans will experience “The Jungle” theme throughout Paycor Stadium with new banners, graphics, murals and videoboards welcoming them at almost every entrance, the Bengals announced a few weeks ago. One mural will be Cincinnati-themed, created by a local artist.

Concessions will have a Gameday focus, meaning fans will be able to order what they crave most during Bengals games.

Skyline Chili coneys can be found throughout the stadium and two additional Tenders, Love and Chicken restaurants will be added with an exclusive menu for club-level ticketholders.

In addition, fans will be able to enjoy the sweet and savory flavors of “Smoke and Sizzle,” a new concession area that will serve authentic barbecue.

To serve people quicker and amp-up convenience, 78 self-serve kiosks will be installed, along with seven self-order and pick-up spots and 14 grab-and-go stands, such as “The Go Route.”

The Bengals will only play one preseason game at home. In preseason week 2, they travel to Atlanta and finish the preseason on Aug. 26 in Washington.

Cincinnati opens the regular season on Sept. 10 at 1 p.m. in Cleveland to take on the Browns.

In Week 2, the Bengals return home to take another AFC North rival, the Baltimore Ravens. That game is also a 1 p.m. start.

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