CINCINNATI -- The Cincinnati Bengals are invoking a provision in their lease that forces Hamilton County to reimburse the team for Paul Brown Stadium's artificial turf.
The lease says the county, which owns the stadium, must pay for the turf if it also has been installed at seven of the other publicly funded stadiums in the National Football League.
The Bengals added the FieldTurf before the 2004 season. The same surface is now used at publicly funded stadiums in East Rutherford, N.J.; Seattle, Atlanta, New Orleans, St. Louis, Buffalo and Minneapolis.
The clause in the lease will cost Hamilton County taxpayers about $900,000.
"This is another example of how unfair this [lease] is to the taxpayers of Hamilton County," Commissioner Phil Heimlich said in Monday editions of The Cincinnati Enquirer. "There's no limit to the number of gadgets they can buy and charge to the taxpayer."
Commissioners are expected to approve paying the Bengals in three annual payments.
The team failed in several attempts to grow suitable natural grass at Paul Brown Stadium, which opened in 2000.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press