A proposed MLS stadium for FC Cincinnati was a point of discussion during a Hamilton County meeting on Tuesday, with debates focused on the funding of the project.
As part of its push for a successful MLS expansion bid, FC Cincinnati has proposed an estimated $200 million stadium. Under the previously-released financial model, the organization would make a $250 million investment that included a contribution of $100 million toward the stadium, plus a $150 million expansion fee, with the rest of the facility costs covered under the other half of a private-public partnership.
A site for the project has not been selected, but FC Cincinnati has reportedly considered multiple locations in Cincinnati as well as another in nearby Newport, KY. Hamilton County heard input on funding a stadium in Cincinnati on Tuesday, when public comment was held during a meeting. While FC Cincinnati reportedly had plenty of supporters in attendance, the county noted that it is facing a high number of projects in the coming years to consider, and has limited funds to complete them. More from WPCO:
“We have more projects than we have money,” Hamilton County Commission President Todd Portune told a crowd of at least 150 people Tuesday night.
And a battle over one of the few sources of money left — a small slice of sales tax that becomes available in 2020, currently being used to pay for a renovation of Union Terminal — is already brewing.
Portune called the meeting Tuesday to gather public comments to help decide which projects the county should fund.
FC Cincinnati’s General Manager Jeff Berding led roughly 100 of the team’s fans into the packed meeting, yelling “Build it here.” It’s no surprise that Berding, a former Cincinnati city councilman, was able to organize the loudest and largest display of political pressure in the room.
FC Cincinnati is one of 12 candidates that submitted an MLS expansion bid earlier this year. The league is sorting through its options with the intention of choosing two clubs that could begin play for the 2020 season, and an additional pair joining at a later date.