Stadium network will help economy

The NFL offseason is now starting after the New England Patriots defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 24-21 in Super Bowl XXXIX. The Pro Bowl is next weekend in Hawaii but that’s just the NFL All-Star game.

However, the people down at Paul Brown Stadium, home of the Cincinnati Bengals, are hoping that the offseason will be a busy one since it became one of 10 NFL stadiums to join the Gridiron Stadium Network, a group that will bring touring shows and other events to NFL stadiums during the offseason.

Other fields involved include the Seattle Seahawk’s Qwest Field, the Pittsburgh Steeler’s Heinz Field, the Green Bay Packer’s famed stadium Lambeau Field, the Kansas City Chief’s Arrowhead Stadium, the new home of the Detroit Lions, Ford Field, the Buffalo Bills’ Ralph Wilson Stadium, Reliant Stadium, home of the Houston Texans, the Washington Redskin’s FedEx Field, the Philadelphia Eagles’ Lincoln Financial Field and the Denver Bronco’s Invesco Field at Mile High.

This is a great move on the Paul Brown Stadium officials’ part because if they start booking rock concerts it will sure help the downtown Cincinnati economy and keep the stadium from sitting vacant during the Bengals’ offseason. The downtown economy could use the income from these concerts because it seems as if no one goes downtown anymore except to work and maybe go to the Main Street entertainment district.

Paul Brown Stadium has yet to host a big event other than a football game in its four years of existence. The only non-football event that took place there was the Billy Graham Crusade a couple of years ago that featured hometown boy and NFL star Shaun Alexander.

If Paul Brown Stadium officials need any help in hosting a big stadium concert all they have to do is look at what’s going on 40 miles south of them on Interstate 71. The Kentucky Speedway has been successful in hosting rock concerts since its opening. They have hosted Metallica’s Summer Sanitarium tour, the Vans Warped Tour, and for the past two years hosted the popular Country Stampede featuring many of today’s top country music acts. Kentucky Speedway officials have also recently announced that country music superstar Tim McGraw will play there July 30 as part of the Jammin’ in the Bluegrass concert. This will be McGraw’s only appearance in the area this year.

Several bands have been successful in the past years after playing stadium shows, such as Metallica, the Rolling Stones and U2. The Gridiron Stadium Network, which will be headquartered in Los Angeles, could bring similar events to Cincinnati.