Bengals vs Broncos Game Takes Me Back

By: Don Ward
By: Don Ward

Who bought the first beer ever sold at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati? I'm pretty sure it was me!

Stadium Tour Allowed Me A "First"...and no one cares!

In the fall of 2000 I was working as a reporter and weekend morning anchor at the NBC affiliate in Cincinnati.  It's a great station in a great city and I really enjoyed my 3 and a half years there. 

One of the important stories there my last couple of years was the revamping of the Riverfront area.  They tore down the old Riverfront Stadium (called Cinergy Field by then) and built a new baseball stadium, and a new football stadium, all basically at the same time.  Just before the brand new, and beautiful Paul Brown stadium opened (the one where the Broncos had that dramatic win today) they had a tour for the season ticket holders.  Here's a picture of me reporting from the empty stadium, probably a 6pm live shot, just before the crowd was let in.

This was mid-week, right before the season home opener.  Part of the preview for the fans was also a test run for the vendors.  Before the fans were let in to check out the location of their brand new season tickets, the vendors were allowed in to load up and get the feel for their new workplace...and to sell some stuff to the incoming fans...stadium operators never pass up a chance to make some money on concessions!

After my 5:30 live report, and before my 6pm update, the door to the vendors room opened, and one beer salesman came out and said to us, "Who wants to buy the first beer ever at Paul Brown Stadium."  I wanted to!

I don't remember what it cost, but I'm sure it was too much.  (On further review, the button he's wearing seems to indicate it was $3.00 - if so, that's a pretty good deal - this was 9 years ago!) I loved the idea of being at the stadium so I brought along one of those cheap disposable cameras, that's why I have pictures of the beer buying moment!

So me and the beer vendor posed with the beer.  I don't remember his name ( think it was Bill) and he probably doesn't remember mine, but we both know who bought that first beer at Paul Brown, and who sold it.  Millions more have probably been purchased and consumed there in the nine years since.  And there is no prize for first.

Moment over, I went on to do my final update.

That was a fond memory from the stadium.  I was also there a few weeks later, October 22nd.  I worked my very very early morning shift, went home to take a nap, then went to PB stadium to watch the Bengals host the beloved BRONCOS!!! That was the day Corey Dillon of the Bengals broke Walter Payton's single game NFL rushing record with 278 yards!  Ouch.  That was a not-so-fond memory.

As for the beer buy, I know what you're wondering.  Yes, I was on duty, on the clock, about to go on TV.  I did buy the beer.  I did not drink it. I put it on the ground and left it, I'm not sure who drank it. 

Might want to check with Bill.

We'll talk again soon.






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