Wednesday, March 03, 1999

Bengals stadium 20% done


Construction on pace for kickoff in 2000

BY LUCY MAY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[stadium]
Paul Brown Stadium is taking shape on the riverfront.
(Glenn Hartong photo)
| ZOOM |
        Under all the riverfront's mud and muck, a new football stadium is finally taking shape.

        During a messy tour Tuesday of the Bengals' new Paul Brown Stadium, Project Manager Daniel Streyle said the stadium is about 20 percent complete.

        While nasty weather in January slowed work, Mr. Streyle is confident the $404 million football complex will be finished on time. “We will be ready to play football in August of 2000,” he said.

        Crews are building the concrete “super structure” that will make up the stadium's bowl.

        The stadium's main plaza level, which will be 25 feet above street level and is starting to take shape on the structure's west side, is not quite half as tall as the finished stadium will be, Mr. Streyle said.

        Already, crews are preparing the raker beams, the steplike concrete forms that will hold the seating bleachers and stadium seats.

        And on the main plaza level, where the first level of luxury suites will be, holes for the suites' plumbing have been cut into the precast concrete.

        Work is further along on the west side of the stadium than the east because that's where crews began, Mr. Streyle said. Construction at the south end zone is just starting, and crews will soon start to enclose the bowl, he said.

        Hamilton County Commissioner Bob Bedinghaus, who drives by the construction site every night to see the progress, said the public hasn't seen anything yet.

        “The difference that people have seen within the last six months is going to be dwarfed by the changes they'll see in the next three months,” Mr. Bedinghaus said.

        “That's kind of what I'm looking forward to. Right now, it really doesn't look like a football stadium.”