Cincinnati Bengals Would Have Allegedly Become Cleveland Browns

Published on April 17th, 2024 4:02 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

Bengals stadium deal threat in the mid 1990s. Did the Cincinnati Bengals threaten to move to Cleveland in the mid 1990s if they didn't get a new stadium deal?

Mike Brown, the current owner of the Bengals, denies that such a threat was made, though there was enough smoke that numerous news outlets, including the Associated Press, reported on the rumor.

One thing is for sure - owners will often threaten to bolt from a city unless they get the stadium deal that they want.

In the middle of the 1995 NFL season, chaos erupted in Cleveland as their owner, Art Modell, announced that the team would be moving to Baltimore.

Did Mike Brown, owner of the Cincinnati Bengals, see this as an opportunity to gain leverage for a new stadium? Again, Brown denies that there was any such attempt, though the Associated Press reported on the rumblings.

Allegedly, Mike Brown threatened to move the Bengals to Cleveland, where they would become the Cleveland Browns.

Unless, of course, he received the stadium deal that he wanted from the city of Cincinnati.


In the end, the Cincinnati Bengals stayed put.

The Cleveland Browns ended up moving to Baltimore, but not before a deal was struck between Modell, the city and the NFL.

Modell was allowed to move the team, and Cleveland was promised that their beloved franchise would return with four years - name and all.

The Cincinnati Bengals, for their part, ended up with their stadium financing deal. Was leveraged used, and if so, did it work? Well, the Bengals stadium financing deal was dubbed "one of the worst financing deals" ever for the city that had to pay for it, so you tell me.

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