The Cincinnati Bengals are a professional American football franchise based in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals compete in the National Football League as a member club of the league's American Football Conference North division. Their home stadium is Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati. Their divisional opponents are the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, and the Baltimore Ravens.
The Bengals were founded in 1966 as a member of the American Football League by former Cleveland Browns head coach Paul Brown. Brown was the Bengals' head coach from their inception to 1975. After being dismissed as the Browns' head coach by Art Modell in January 1963, Brown had shown interest in establishing another NFL franchise in Ohio and looked at both Cincinnati and Columbus. He ultimately chose the former when a deal between the city, Hamilton County, and Major League Baseball's Cincinnati Reds was struck that resulted in an agreement to build a multipurpose stadium which could host both baseball and football games.
Due to the impending merger of the AFL and the NFL, which was scheduled to take full effect in the 1970 season, Brown agreed to join the AFL as its tenth and final franchise.
Paul Brown Stadium