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Cinn. officials are optimistic


CINCINNATI -- Officials working to keep the Cincinnati Bengals from moving to Baltimore yesterday expressed a growing optimism they would achieve their objective before a deadline of next week imposed by the Maryland Stadium Authority.

"I think the project is picking up momentum, and there is a lot of desire to make it happen. I am getting more optimistic," said Eugene P. Ruehlmann, a local attorney and former mayor who has been working behind the scenes to keep the team.

The Bengals have said they need a new stadium to remain profitable. The Reds, with whom the Bengals share Riverfront Stadium, also are seeking a new facility.

County and city leaders have been working on plans that include raising the county sales tax to pay for the stadiums.

"It's fair to say that there are very delicate discussions going on. . . . There is a sense of urgency," city councilman Todd Portune said.

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