18 Incredible Sports Moments from 2022 that Cincinnati Won’t Forget, for Better or for Worse

Joey Votto, Brandon Vazquez and Eli Apple took part in some of Cincinnati's best sports moments in 2022.
Photos (l-r): media assets from Cincinnati Reds, FC Cincinnati, Cincinnati Bengals
Joey Votto, Brandon Vazquez and Eli Apple took part in some of Cincinnati's best sports moments in 2022.
Sports have a way of both lifting people to their highest hopes and crushing their spirits until they want to wallow by eating eight 3-Ways in a row. Nowhere is that more true than in Cincinnati, where 2022 was both a joy and a slog in the sports world.
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UC Bearcats Lose – and Then Gain – a Football Coach
Luke Fickell surprised a lot of Cincinnatians when he announced in November that he was taking the head football coach position at the University of Wisconsin, pretty much effective immediately. Over six years, Fickell had become the University of Cincinnati’s winningest coach. Naturally, the rumors about who might coach the Bearcats began, and it seemed like two-time Super Bowl champion and former Cincinnati Reds outfielder Deion Sanders legitimately was considering the position. But a week after Fickell left (taking some of his coaching staff with him), the Bearcats coaxed University of Louisiana’s coach Scott Satterfield to Cincinnati to lead the team into the Big 12 Conference. Read CityBeat's story about Satterfield's esteem for UC.
Photo: youtube/cincinnatibearcats
UC Bearcats Lose – and Then Gain – a Football Coach
Luke Fickell surprised a lot of Cincinnatians when he announced in November that he was taking the head football coach position at the University of Wisconsin, pretty much effective immediately. Over six years, Fickell had become the University of Cincinnati’s winningest coach. Naturally, the rumors about who might coach the Bearcats began, and it seemed like two-time Super Bowl champion and former Cincinnati Reds outfielder Deion Sanders legitimately was considering the position. But a week after Fickell left (taking some of his coaching staff with him), the Bearcats coaxed University of Louisiana’s coach Scott Satterfield to Cincinnati to lead the team into the Big 12 Conference. Read CityBeat's story about Satterfield's esteem for UC.
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Pete Rose Is Pete Rose
What a year for “Charlie Hustle.” In August, former Cincinnati Reds manager and utility player extraordinaire Pete Rose was honored in Philadelphia for helping the Phillies win the 1980 World Series. But during media briefings at the game, Rose completely dismissed a female reporter’s questions about statutory rape allegations that have dogged him for decades, saying, “It was 50 years ago, babe.” A few months later, he begged yet again for MLB commissioner Rob Manfred to lift his placement on baseball’s permanent ineligible list so that he could be considered for enshrinement in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum; Manfred declined quickly, decisively saying that Rose’s gambling on baseball while serving as a manager still merits a lifetime ban. But perhaps old Pete has brighter days ahead, now that sports betting became legal in Ohio on Jan. 1. Rose was tapped to be the local face of throwing money at things and wishing for the best and is scheduled to place the first legal bet at Cincinnati’s new Hard Rock Sportsbook. Read CityBeat's story about Rose's ongoing skirmishes with MLB.
Photo: Kjunstorm, Wikimedia Commons
Pete Rose Is Pete Rose
What a year for “Charlie Hustle.” In August, former Cincinnati Reds manager and utility player extraordinaire Pete Rose was honored in Philadelphia for helping the Phillies win the 1980 World Series. But during media briefings at the game, Rose completely dismissed a female reporter’s questions about statutory rape allegations that have dogged him for decades, saying, “It was 50 years ago, babe.” A few months later, he begged yet again for MLB commissioner Rob Manfred to lift his placement on baseball’s permanent ineligible list so that he could be considered for enshrinement in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum; Manfred declined quickly, decisively saying that Rose’s gambling on baseball while serving as a manager still merits a lifetime ban. But perhaps old Pete has brighter days ahead, now that sports betting became legal in Ohio on Jan. 1. Rose was tapped to be the local face of throwing money at things and wishing for the best and is scheduled to place the first legal bet at Cincinnati’s new Hard Rock Sportsbook. Read CityBeat's story about Rose's ongoing skirmishes with MLB.
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FC Cincinnati Lands Its First Playoff Berth
Cincinnati’s pro soccer team had a banner season, including its first-ever MLS Cup postseason berth, a postseason win against a higher seed and a club record for consecutive scoring games. FC Cincinnati went 12-9 with 13 draws in the regular season, clinching its spot in the playoffs with a win over D.C. United during the final game Oct. 9. The Orange and Blue followed that up with an MLS Cup playoff victory against the New York Red Bulls, with the season coming to a close on Oct. 20 with a playoff loss to Eastern Conference top seed Philadelphia Union. The 2022 season also marked the first time Cincinnati did not finish in last place in the Eastern Conference. Read CityBeat's story about what head coach Pat Noonan expects for the club in 2023.
Photo: twitter.com/fccincinnati
FC Cincinnati Lands Its First Playoff Berth
Cincinnati’s pro soccer team had a banner season, including its first-ever MLS Cup postseason berth, a postseason win against a higher seed and a club record for consecutive scoring games. FC Cincinnati went 12-9 with 13 draws in the regular season, clinching its spot in the playoffs with a win over D.C. United during the final game Oct. 9. The Orange and Blue followed that up with an MLS Cup playoff victory against the New York Red Bulls, with the season coming to a close on Oct. 20 with a playoff loss to Eastern Conference top seed Philadelphia Union. The 2022 season also marked the first time Cincinnati did not finish in last place in the Eastern Conference. Read CityBeat's story about what head coach Pat Noonan expects for the club in 2023.
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The Reds Set Bad, Bad Records
The Cincinnati Reds' wretched 2022 season was not pretty. Cincinnati's home team set a franchise record for the worst start to a season, going just 3-19 as of May 1 and enduring MLB's worst start for any team since 2003. Another record: on Sept. 20, starting pitcher Nick Lodolo nipped three Sox batters and helped Cincinnati set the MLB mark for beaning the most opponents in a single season – 99 batters at the time, claiming the previous record from the Chicago Cubs, who had hit 98 players in 2021. Finally, the Reds ended the season with a loss to the Chicago Cubs, cementing a 62-100 record – just the second time in franchise history that the Reds had racked up 100 losses. See CityBeat's photos from historic loss No. 100.
Photo: Ron Valle
The Reds Set Bad, Bad Records
The Cincinnati Reds' wretched 2022 season was not pretty. Cincinnati's home team set a franchise record for the worst start to a season, going just 3-19 as of May 1 and enduring MLB's worst start for any team since 2003. Another record: on Sept. 20, starting pitcher Nick Lodolo nipped three Sox batters and helped Cincinnati set the MLB mark for beaning the most opponents in a single season – 99 batters at the time, claiming the previous record from the Chicago Cubs, who had hit 98 players in 2021. Finally, the Reds ended the season with a loss to the Chicago Cubs, cementing a 62-100 record – just the second time in franchise history that the Reds had racked up 100 losses. See CityBeat's photos from historic loss No. 100.
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Super Bowl Run Makes Fans Super Proud
The Bengals may not have won the game, but they sure as hell won Cincinnati’s heart. On Feb. 13, the Bengals lost 20-23 to the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI, just mere minutes from taking it all. Cincinnati's first shot at the Vince Lombardi trophy since 1989 came after earning a 10-7 record for the 2021-2022 regular season, winning the AFC North, and pulling out magical win after magical win in the postseason — including the AFC Championship. This Bengals team let Cincinnati fans dare to dream again after years of constant loss, leading to the most-watched Super Bowl in the five previous years. Leading up to the game, businesses and organizations throughout Greater Cincinnati plastered their buildings with Bengals signs, Cincinnati City Hall flew a giant Bengals flag, Dayton renamed itself as "Deyton," Cheviot changed its street signs to Bengals names, and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine declared that Super Bowl Sunday would be called Cincinnati Bengals Day. What a magical ride. Read CityBeat's story about the Bengals' homecoming party and the fan sentiment around the team.
photo: twitter.com/bengals
Super Bowl Run Makes Fans Super Proud
The Bengals may not have won the game, but they sure as hell won Cincinnati’s heart. On Feb. 13, the Bengals lost 20-23 to the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI, just mere minutes from taking it all. Cincinnati's first shot at the Vince Lombardi trophy since 1989 came after earning a 10-7 record for the 2021-2022 regular season, winning the AFC North, and pulling out magical win after magical win in the postseason — including the AFC Championship. This Bengals team let Cincinnati fans dare to dream again after years of constant loss, leading to the most-watched Super Bowl in the five previous years. Leading up to the game, businesses and organizations throughout Greater Cincinnati plastered their buildings with Bengals signs, Cincinnati City Hall flew a giant Bengals flag, Dayton renamed itself as "Deyton," Cheviot changed its street signs to Bengals names, and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine declared that Super Bowl Sunday would be called Cincinnati Bengals Day. What a magical ride. Read CityBeat's story about the Bengals' homecoming party and the fan sentiment around the team.
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The Cincinnati Cobra Gets His Statue
There's a new spot where Cincinnati boxing fans can go to reminisce about one of the city's greats. In October, city officials unveiled a bronze statue of World Heavyweight Champion boxer Ezzard Charles in Ezzard Charles Park – renamed from Laurel Park – in the West End near TQL Stadium. Charles, who grew up in Cincinnati, was known in the boxing world as the "Cincinnati Cobra" and was considered one of the world's greatest fighters. He finished his career with 95 wins, 25 losses and one draw and was inaugurated into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. Charles died in 1975. Read CityBeat's story about the statue's reveal.
Photo: Provided by Cincinnati Parks
The Cincinnati Cobra Gets His Statue
There's a new spot where Cincinnati boxing fans can go to reminisce about one of the city's greats. In October, city officials unveiled a bronze statue of World Heavyweight Champion boxer Ezzard Charles in Ezzard Charles Park – renamed from Laurel Park – in the West End near TQL Stadium. Charles, who grew up in Cincinnati, was known in the boxing world as the "Cincinnati Cobra" and was considered one of the world's greatest fighters. He finished his career with 95 wins, 25 losses and one draw and was inaugurated into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. Charles died in 1975. Read CityBeat's story about the statue's reveal.
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The Reds Frolic in the Corn
On Aug. 11, a nice game of baseball was all that mattered. The Field of Dreams game – which pays homage to the 1989 Kevin Costner film of the same name – between the Reds and the Cubs brought out plenty of magical moments in Dyersville, Iowa, that made players and fans alike marvel about baseball's ability to transcend almost everything. From the moment Ken Griffey Jr. walked out of the cornfield and asked his father Ken Griffey Sr. to "have a catch," fans in the stands and watching from home were caught up in the sport's magic. The teams followed in throwback uniforms inspired by the 1919 and 1929 seasons, respectively, paying homage to historic teams that came before. And for a few glorious moments before first pitch, the intense, competitive players on both sides visibly became like kids again, beaming while reminiscing about tossing a ball around to their best friend or a family member in the backyard. Read CityBeat's recap of the magical game.
Photo: twitter.com/reds
The Reds Frolic in the Corn
On Aug. 11, a nice game of baseball was all that mattered. The Field of Dreams game – which pays homage to the 1989 Kevin Costner film of the same name – between the Reds and the Cubs brought out plenty of magical moments in Dyersville, Iowa, that made players and fans alike marvel about baseball's ability to transcend almost everything. From the moment Ken Griffey Jr. walked out of the cornfield and asked his father Ken Griffey Sr. to "have a catch," fans in the stands and watching from home were caught up in the sport's magic. The teams followed in throwback uniforms inspired by the 1919 and 1929 seasons, respectively, paying homage to historic teams that came before. And for a few glorious moments before first pitch, the intense, competitive players on both sides visibly became like kids again, beaming while reminiscing about tossing a ball around to their best friend or a family member in the backyard. Read CityBeat's recap of the magical game.
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Joe Burrow Is Golden
Everybody knows that Joe Burrow can ball. This season alone, the Bengals’ star quarterback already has hit NFL and franchise milestones. He’s the first player in NFL history to record 75 pass touchdowns and 10 rush touchdowns through the first 40 career games, the first quarterback to beat the Kansas City Chiefs – along with their quarterback Patrick Mahomes – in three straight games, the third-fastest to rack up 10,000 career passing yards… you get it. But Burrow also increasingly is known as a fashion icon, landing on the New York Times’ “92 Most Stylish People of 2022" list, nabbing the cover spot on the September issue of Sports Illustrated and being named the most handsome quarterback according to science. Burrow has become the biggest thirst trap on a Bengals team with plenty of lookers, and we’re here for it. Read CityBeat's story about Burrow's many off-field accolades.
Photo: Cincinnati Bengals media assets
Joe Burrow Is Golden
Everybody knows that Joe Burrow can ball. This season alone, the Bengals’ star quarterback already has hit NFL and franchise milestones. He’s the first player in NFL history to record 75 pass touchdowns and 10 rush touchdowns through the first 40 career games, the first quarterback to beat the Kansas City Chiefs – along with their quarterback Patrick Mahomes – in three straight games, the third-fastest to rack up 10,000 career passing yards… you get it. But Burrow also increasingly is known as a fashion icon, landing on the New York Times’ “92 Most Stylish People of 2022" list, nabbing the cover spot on the September issue of Sports Illustrated and being named the most handsome quarterback according to science. Burrow has become the biggest thirst trap on a Bengals team with plenty of lookers, and we’re here for it. Read CityBeat's story about Burrow's many off-field accolades.
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Cincinnati Cyclones Say Buh-Bye to $1 Beers
For the 2022-2023 hockey season, the Cyclones’ longtime $1 beer promotions have become $2 beer promotions, thanks in part to an overall rise in the cost of goods and services within the United States. Sean Lynn, director of marketing and public relations for the Cyclones and Heritage Bank Center, told CityBeat that inflation finally caught up to the venue. "We introduced $1 beers in 2007 and held that price for nearly 15 years. While most things saw annual increases, we held the line and not many people can say that," Lynn said. "With the latest increases in cost of goods, fuel, and labor, we felt now was the proper time to make this change." Read CityBeat's story about the slight price increase for one of Cincinnati's cheapest drinks.
Photo: Allison Babka
Cincinnati Cyclones Say Buh-Bye to $1 Beers
For the 2022-2023 hockey season, the Cyclones’ longtime $1 beer promotions have become $2 beer promotions, thanks in part to an overall rise in the cost of goods and services within the United States. Sean Lynn, director of marketing and public relations for the Cyclones and Heritage Bank Center, told CityBeat that inflation finally caught up to the venue. "We introduced $1 beers in 2007 and held that price for nearly 15 years. While most things saw annual increases, we held the line and not many people can say that," Lynn said. "With the latest increases in cost of goods, fuel, and labor, we felt now was the proper time to make this change." Read CityBeat's story about the slight price increase for one of Cincinnati's cheapest drinks.
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The Bengals Set Records in Style
Bengals fans have always been loyal – hell, they stuck with the team through years of horribly depressing seasons before coming soooooo close to a Super Bowl win in 2022. That loyalty is growing even more now, it turns out. On Sept. 29, the Bengals clobbered the Miami Dolphins 27-15 in front of 67,260 fans at Paycor Stadium – the team's largest home crowd in history, as of press time. And in a second milestone for the history books, the Bengals did it while wearing white helmets for the first time ever during a "Thursday Night Football" national broadcast. Beginning this season, the NFL finally lifted its long-held rule that prohibited secondary or alternate helmets. The team paired the helmet with a new alternate white "Color Rush" jersey and white pants, all with black stripes and lettering. Read CityBeat's story about the milestones.
Photo: twitter.com/bengals
The Bengals Set Records in Style
Bengals fans have always been loyal – hell, they stuck with the team through years of horribly depressing seasons before coming soooooo close to a Super Bowl win in 2022. That loyalty is growing even more now, it turns out. On Sept. 29, the Bengals clobbered the Miami Dolphins 27-15 in front of 67,260 fans at Paycor Stadium – the team's largest home crowd in history, as of press time. And in a second milestone for the history books, the Bengals did it while wearing white helmets for the first time ever during a "Thursday Night Football" national broadcast. Beginning this season, the NFL finally lifted its long-held rule that prohibited secondary or alternate helmets. The team paired the helmet with a new alternate white "Color Rush" jersey and white pants, all with black stripes and lettering. Read CityBeat's story about the milestones.
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Luciano Acosta and Brandon Vazquez Rack Up Honors 
FC Cincinnati's attacking midfielder Luciano Acosta and forward Brandon Vazquez were included in Major League Soccer’s 2022 Best Xi selections, marking the first time that FC Cincy players were celebrated among the top 11 players in the MLS. Acosta tallied 10 goals and an MLS-leading 19 assists for the regular season. Cincinnati's captain tied for third in the league for goal contributions – 29, a career high – and also led the club in game-winning assists with five. Vazquez notched 18 goals on the season, a personal career high. He led the league in open-play goals (16) tied for the most header goals (six) and set FC Cincinnati records for goals across all competitions, shots and shots on goal while becoming the first Cincinnati player to score multiple goals in consecutive games. Together, Acosta and Vazquez became the first pair of teammates with at least 25 goal contributions in a single season since 2018. Both were selected for the MLS All-Star Game during the summer. Read CityBeat's story about Acosta's and Vazquez's accomplishments.
Photo: twitter.com/fccincinnati
Luciano Acosta and Brandon Vazquez Rack Up Honors
FC Cincinnati's attacking midfielder Luciano Acosta and forward Brandon Vazquez were included in Major League Soccer’s 2022 Best Xi selections, marking the first time that FC Cincy players were celebrated among the top 11 players in the MLS. Acosta tallied 10 goals and an MLS-leading 19 assists for the regular season. Cincinnati's captain tied for third in the league for goal contributions – 29, a career high – and also led the club in game-winning assists with five. Vazquez notched 18 goals on the season, a personal career high. He led the league in open-play goals (16) tied for the most header goals (six) and set FC Cincinnati records for goals across all competitions, shots and shots on goal while becoming the first Cincinnati player to score multiple goals in consecutive games. Together, Acosta and Vazquez became the first pair of teammates with at least 25 goal contributions in a single season since 2018. Both were selected for the MLS All-Star Game during the summer. Read CityBeat's story about Acosta's and Vazquez's accomplishments.
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The Castellinis Are Front-Office Flops
Reds fans weren’t happy. Reds players weren’t happy. And all of the 2022 season's woes ultimately could be traced back to team ownership and the front-office. The Reds' 2022 payroll was about $114 million, a downgrade from $135 million in 2021 and $140 million in 2020 that clearly affects a season's record and championship potential. In 2022, the Reds racked up 100 losses for just the second time in franchise history. The losing also kept more fans at home, with the team experiencing its lowest season attendance since 1984. None of this is news to Cincinnati fans, who have long bashed owner Bob Castellini, even banding together before opening day to raise more than $4,000 for a billboard urging Castellini to sell the team to someone who would invest in winning, or at least in a legitimate playoff push. That I-75 billboard and fans' growing lack of trust in the team elicited a sharp response from Phil Castellini, the Reds' chief operating officer and Bob Castellini's son, who told 700 WLW-AM that Cincinnatians essentially just had to deal with it when the team repeatedly refuses to pay for productive veteran players. Phil Castellini later walked back his comments. By the way, the Reds currently have the fourth-lowest estimated payroll for 2023 at $74 million. Read CityBeat's story about a prominent sports writer calling for a change of direction for the Reds.
Photo: twitter.com/riverfrontcincy
The Castellinis Are Front-Office Flops
Reds fans weren’t happy. Reds players weren’t happy. And all of the 2022 season's woes ultimately could be traced back to team ownership and the front-office. The Reds' 2022 payroll was about $114 million, a downgrade from $135 million in 2021 and $140 million in 2020 that clearly affects a season's record and championship potential. In 2022, the Reds racked up 100 losses for just the second time in franchise history. The losing also kept more fans at home, with the team experiencing its lowest season attendance since 1984. None of this is news to Cincinnati fans, who have long bashed owner Bob Castellini, even banding together before opening day to raise more than $4,000 for a billboard urging Castellini to sell the team to someone who would invest in winning, or at least in a legitimate playoff push. That I-75 billboard and fans' growing lack of trust in the team elicited a sharp response from Phil Castellini, the Reds' chief operating officer and Bob Castellini's son, who told 700 WLW-AM that Cincinnatians essentially just had to deal with it when the team repeatedly refuses to pay for productive veteran players. Phil Castellini later walked back his comments. By the way, the Reds currently have the fourth-lowest estimated payroll for 2023 at $74 million. Read CityBeat's story about a prominent sports writer calling for a change of direction for the Reds.
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Joe Mixon Has a Fucking Incredible Day
What a rush! During the Cincinnati Bengals' 42-21 win over the Carolina Panthers on Nov. 6, running back Joe Mixon pulled in five touchdowns, setting a new Bengals record for the most in a single game. Previously, three Bengals players were tied with four TDs each: Marvin Jones (2013), Corey Dillon (1997) and Larry Kinnebrew (1984), according to Statmuse. Four of Mixon's scores were rushing touchdowns, which shares the franchise's top slot with Dillon's efforts in 1997. Four of Mixon's touchdowns came within the first half of the game, allowing him to become the first Bengals player to hit that milestone. He also became just the fifth Bengal to earn 5,000 career yards. Additionally, Mixon is now the 17th player in NFL history to ever score at least five non-passing touchdowns, as of press time. He's in a tie on the NFL's overall list for fourth-place for the most touchdowns in a single game. It was a stunning turnaround for Mixon, who previously hadn't been performing to the season’s expectations. Read CityBeat's story about Mixon's big day.
Photo: Bengals media assets
Joe Mixon Has a Fucking Incredible Day
What a rush! During the Cincinnati Bengals' 42-21 win over the Carolina Panthers on Nov. 6, running back Joe Mixon pulled in five touchdowns, setting a new Bengals record for the most in a single game. Previously, three Bengals players were tied with four TDs each: Marvin Jones (2013), Corey Dillon (1997) and Larry Kinnebrew (1984), according to Statmuse. Four of Mixon's scores were rushing touchdowns, which shares the franchise's top slot with Dillon's efforts in 1997. Four of Mixon's touchdowns came within the first half of the game, allowing him to become the first Bengals player to hit that milestone. He also became just the fifth Bengal to earn 5,000 career yards. Additionally, Mixon is now the 17th player in NFL history to ever score at least five non-passing touchdowns, as of press time. He's in a tie on the NFL's overall list for fourth-place for the most touchdowns in a single game. It was a stunning turnaround for Mixon, who previously hadn't been performing to the season’s expectations. Read CityBeat's story about Mixon's big day.
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Pickleball Officially Is A Thing
Pickleball has been around since 1965, but it’s the fastest-growing sport in 2022, according to a report from the Sports & Fitness Industry Association. It’s a good time for Cincinnati to expand its footprint in the sport, then, as officials announced this year that the country's second-biggest indoor pickleball facility will open in West Chester in 2023. The Pickle Lodge will feature 17 indoor courts, cushioned playing surfaces, a bar and restaurant and, eventually, five outdoor courts plus a championship court with grandstand-style seating. Read CityBeat's story about what else to expect from the Pickle Lodge.
Photo: Provided by The Pickle Lodge
Pickleball Officially Is A Thing
Pickleball has been around since 1965, but it’s the fastest-growing sport in 2022, according to a report from the Sports & Fitness Industry Association. It’s a good time for Cincinnati to expand its footprint in the sport, then, as officials announced this year that the country's second-biggest indoor pickleball facility will open in West Chester in 2023. The Pickle Lodge will feature 17 indoor courts, cushioned playing surfaces, a bar and restaurant and, eventually, five outdoor courts plus a championship court with grandstand-style seating. Read CityBeat's story about what else to expect from the Pickle Lodge.
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Ahmad 'Sauce' Gardner Sauces Fans Up
Just before the NFL season ramped up, former University of Cincinnati Bearcat Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner launched a limited-time hot sauce with Buffalo Wild Wings, somewhat predictably calling it “Sauce Sauce.” Gardner celebrated the achievement in a video that featured him declaring “I love sauce” and slathering the juice on top of everything from wings to fries to a miniature bedazzled sauce bottle. Gardner, who was a lauded cornerback for the Bearcats, was drafted by the New York Jets before the season and lost to the Cincinnati Bengals in September, despite forcing a few incompletes. Read CityBeat's story to learn more about Sauce Sauce.
Photo: Provided by Inspire Brands
Ahmad 'Sauce' Gardner Sauces Fans Up
Just before the NFL season ramped up, former University of Cincinnati Bearcat Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner launched a limited-time hot sauce with Buffalo Wild Wings, somewhat predictably calling it “Sauce Sauce.” Gardner celebrated the achievement in a video that featured him declaring “I love sauce” and slathering the juice on top of everything from wings to fries to a miniature bedazzled sauce bottle. Gardner, who was a lauded cornerback for the Bearcats, was drafted by the New York Jets before the season and lost to the Cincinnati Bengals in September, despite forcing a few incompletes. Read CityBeat's story to learn more about Sauce Sauce.
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Cincy Misses Out on World Cup Matches
After a multi-year effort by Cincinnati leaders to secure a 2026 FIFA World Cup game, FIFA broke the bad news in June: the Queen City would not be getting its crown. FIFA, which oversees world soccer, announced its 16 World Cup host cities on June 16, and Cincinnati was not selected. The Queen City launched its bid to host 2026 World Cup matches back in 2017. Cincinnati officials who led the World Cup effort insisted that the city will continue to be in contention for other major events. "Even though this bid may not have been successful, I feel the process has set us up for future successful bids that will enhance our city and raise our international profile," Jeff Berding, co-CEO of FC Cincinnati and the local World Cup bid committee, said after the decision. "We showed that the new Cincinnati is an ambitious city that competes for world class events, so this isn’t the end of this process - it’s just the beginning of more to come. So stay tuned, and don’t sleep on Cincinnati." Read CityBeat's story about how local fans reacted to the news.
Photo: Peter Glaser, Unsplash
Cincy Misses Out on World Cup Matches
After a multi-year effort by Cincinnati leaders to secure a 2026 FIFA World Cup game, FIFA broke the bad news in June: the Queen City would not be getting its crown. FIFA, which oversees world soccer, announced its 16 World Cup host cities on June 16, and Cincinnati was not selected. The Queen City launched its bid to host 2026 World Cup matches back in 2017. Cincinnati officials who led the World Cup effort insisted that the city will continue to be in contention for other major events. "Even though this bid may not have been successful, I feel the process has set us up for future successful bids that will enhance our city and raise our international profile," Jeff Berding, co-CEO of FC Cincinnati and the local World Cup bid committee, said after the decision. "We showed that the new Cincinnati is an ambitious city that competes for world class events, so this isn’t the end of this process - it’s just the beginning of more to come. So stay tuned, and don’t sleep on Cincinnati." Read CityBeat's story about how local fans reacted to the news.
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Reds Fans Make Highlight-Reel Catches 
By late April, the Reds had only won three games and fans were understandably distraught. But a hero appeared – only it wasn't a player on the field. During a home game on April 26, Jacob Kingsley caught a pop-up foul ball while holding his infant son Shepherd, who was strapped to Kingsley's chest in a baby sling. The ball blooped backwards on the third-base side, where Kingsley nonchalantly reached up with one hand and plucked it from the air as he fed little Shepherd a bottle. It was the play of the game — and probably even the season at that point (the Reds lost 9-6 to the Padres). Not to be outdone, another fan at Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park caught a ball in his beer cup about a month later. Both men made the national highlight reels and helped dour Reds fans through a major team drought. Read CityBeat's stories about the baby catch and the beer catch.
Photo: twitter.com/ballysportscin
Reds Fans Make Highlight-Reel Catches By late April, the Reds had only won three games and fans were understandably distraught. But a hero appeared – only it wasn't a player on the field. During a home game on April 26, Jacob Kingsley caught a pop-up foul ball while holding his infant son Shepherd, who was strapped to Kingsley's chest in a baby sling. The ball blooped backwards on the third-base side, where Kingsley nonchalantly reached up with one hand and plucked it from the air as he fed little Shepherd a bottle. It was the play of the game — and probably even the season at that point (the Reds lost 9-6 to the Padres). Not to be outdone, another fan at Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park caught a ball in his beer cup about a month later. Both men made the national highlight reels and helped dour Reds fans through a major team drought. Read CityBeat's stories about the baby catch and the beer catch.
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The Jungle Gets a New Name
The Paul Brown Stadium name is now a relic. In August, the Bengals announced that Cincinnati’s downtown stadium would be known as Paycor Stadium, named after a national human resources software company based in Cincinnati. The move was a stunner for fans who had known the stadium only with Paul Brown's name since its erection in 2000. Brown was the founder and the first head coach for the Bengals, leading the team to the postseason three times; he passed away in 1991, with his son Mike taking over as franchise president. But even though the Bengals are putting together yet another solid season in the Jungle, Paycor Stadium isn’t without its problems – Hamilton County officials are questioning the terms to the naming-rights, unsure that the county will receive appropriate income through the deal. Read CityBeat's story about the name change.
Photo: Derek Jensen
The Jungle Gets a New Name
The Paul Brown Stadium name is now a relic. In August, the Bengals announced that Cincinnati’s downtown stadium would be known as Paycor Stadium, named after a national human resources software company based in Cincinnati. The move was a stunner for fans who had known the stadium only with Paul Brown's name since its erection in 2000. Brown was the founder and the first head coach for the Bengals, leading the team to the postseason three times; he passed away in 1991, with his son Mike taking over as franchise president. But even though the Bengals are putting together yet another solid season in the Jungle, Paycor Stadium isn’t without its problems – Hamilton County officials are questioning the terms to the naming-rights, unsure that the county will receive appropriate income through the deal. Read CityBeat's story about the name change.
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