FC Cincinnati Zeroing in on Stadium Sites

FC Cincinnati

FC Cincinnati is considering three sites for the construction of a potential new stadium, according to a report from The Cincinnati Enquirer.

On Wednesday, The Enquirer reported the sites under consideration by the organization. One is West End, with the prospective parcels located west of Music Hall and Washington Park. The other two are Oakley–where the facility would be constructed on land off of Interstate 71–and a site in Newport that is close to the confluence of the Licking and Ohio rivers and provides a view of Cincinnati’s skyline.

Discussions of a new FC Cincinnati stadium come as the USL club continues its push for an MLS expansion franchise. Since its inaugural 2016 season, the club has consistently drawn large crowds to Nippert Stadium, a venue that is also home to the University of Cincinnati’s football program. Many competing MLS bids, however, are placing an emphasis on new stadiums as the league continues to look for more soccer-specific facilities.

According to a club official, FC Cincinnati is still in the process of developing its stadium plan. More from The Cincinnati Enquirer:

In an interview with The Enquirer on Wednesday afternoon, FC Cincinnati President Jeff Berding confirmed the neighborhoods but not the specific sites.

“Our prospective stadium finance plan is being developed,” Berding said. “Our effort to land an MLS franchise for Cincinnati starts with $250 million in private investment and would not include a new tax increase as speculated today at the Hamilton County commission meeting.”

News of prospective stadium sites surfaced on the same day some citizens launched the No More Stadium Taxes group. The group opposes using taxpayer money for a new soccer stadium, but it also rejects the use of public funds to renovate U.S. Bank Arena.

According to the Enquirer, the organization could invest $100 million into the cost of the stadium, plus $150 million for the MLS expansion fee.

On the heels of its successful inaugural season, FC Cincinnati submitted its MLS expansion bid in January, making it one of 12 groups that is competing for four slots. Through the early weeks of the 2017 USL season, the club has continued to be an excellent draw at Nippert Stadium.

Image courtesy FC Cincinnati.

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