Plans for a new FC Cincinnati stadium design have been unveiled, showing an early vision for the club’s future soccer-specific home.
After having its expansion bid approved in May, FC Cincinnati is preparing for its upcoming transition from Division II USL to MLS. The club will remain at the University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium for the 2019 and 2020 MLS seasons, but is planning to move into a new soccer-specific venue on the city’s West End in 2021.
An announcement from the club on Tuesday presented an early look at its upcoming home. Designed by Meis Architects, with local support from Elevar, the new stadium calls for a seating capacity in the range of 25,500 to 26,500, along with a canopy roof that goes completely around the seating bowl and covers every row. In its current design, the roof and facades are depicted with Ethylene Tetrafluoro-ethylene (ETFE) foil technology, allowing for varying color and pattern displays on a translucent surface.
While the designs provide a glimpse of FC Cincinnati’s vision, they are not final at this point. They were presented to the Executive Committee of the West End Community Council on Tuesday, are subject to local government approval, and likely to be refined over the coming months.
One notable aspect, however, is the capacity. The club was previously considering a stadium with an initial capacity of 21,000, but its record-breaking attendance numbers in the USL were a factor in its decision to plan a facility with a larger capacity. More from the Cincinnati Enquirer:
The design still needs to win local government approval and the proposal is likely to be tweaked in the coming months. But FC Cincinnati revealed a design with a seating capacity of between 25,500 and 26,500, an increase from initial projections and one of the largest soccer-specific venues in North America….
FC Cincinnati President and General Manager Jeff Berding told The Enquirer in an exclusive interview the stadium’s proposed capacity, which is up from the 21,000 the club proposed in June, was based on several factors including its record-breaking and still-growing attendance figures.
Making matches accessible to families – a core tenet of the club’s commitment to fan experience – also weighed heavily in the decision-making process.
“Obviously, we have a three-year track record of attendance and season ticket holder base,” Berding said. “We also wanted to ensure good numbers of family-friendly seating, and all of that went into determining the” capacity.
Plans call for a supporters section on the north end of the stadium, while the facility is also expected to feature a variety of suites and premium spaces. More details on the proposed stadium design can be found here.
FC Cincinnati’s expansion bid was one of two approved by MLS during the last round, as it followed the December 2017 selection of Nashville. Nashville is slated to begin play at a temporary home in 2020 while awaiting its own soccer-specific stadium for the 2021 season, with its facility plan calling for a new soccer-specific stadium to be constructed at The Faigrounds Nashville.
Renderings courtesy Meis Architects.
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