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Bengals inch closer to scoring an indoor practice facility

KZF Design
The inflatable dome can be taken down when the Ohio River floods.

A Cincinnati Council committee has given the thumbs up to a proposed Bengals indoor practice facility. The temporary dome could be built between the Brent Spence and Clay Wade Bailey bridges, next to the Ohio River.

Art Dahlberg with Buildings and Inspections says the Bengals have a plan for when the river floods, including taking down the dome. "That will leave then a four-foot high concrete stub-wall, the foundation of that building," he says. "And rather than design it the way the flood plain regulations say — which is you dry flood-proof it — they're going to design it so it flows through it. Meaning the floodwaters can go in that area and can go right on out."

City of Cincinnati
A map from the city shows where the facility will be built.

The Bengals also asked for variances on parking, landscaping, fencing and signage for the structure.

Representing the Bengals, former deputy city solicitor Luke Blocher says there will be some logos on the dome, like there are at Great American Ballpark and TQL Stadium.

"I think those types of things, which are not outdoor advertising in the sense of you sell advertising on your building, but they are a recognition of partnerships the teams have. For instance, something like a naming right type of thing."

The facility will be built on land formerly owned by Hilltop Basic Resources, but recently acquired by Hamilton County. The team plans to build a more permanent practice center within five years.

Senior City Planner Jesse Urbancsik says it won't interrupt another project in that area. "The team will accommodate the construction of the Ohio River Trail west and CROWN-Queensgate connection on the south side of Mehring Way when the need arises."

The issue goes to the full council next.