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FC leaders, community leaders meet about benefits agreement

FC Cincinnati met with community leaders in the West End to discuss possible changes to the community benefits agreement on Saturday. (WKRC)

WEST END, Ohio (WKRC) - FC Cincinnati met with community leaders in the West End to discuss possible changes to the community benefits agreement on Saturday.

That agreement laid out what the soccer club would give to the neighborhood in exchange for building a stadium next to Taft High School.

An FC Cincinnati spokesperson said West End community leaders couldn't come to an agreement on what changes they wanted.

The CBA calls for the club to pay $100,000 to some organizations in the neighborhood that help kids.

FC Cincinnati said it's willing to hold another meeting on Wednesday "if representatives of the neighborhood are successful in adopting a consensus."

"As stated last week, FC Cincinnati is eager to finalize agreements with the City, County, Redevelopment Authority and CPS so the team can have a 100% complete bid for Major League Soccer," FC Cincinnati said in a statement. "We have agreed to a historic CBA with the West End Executive Board and the Greater Cincinnati Redevelopment Authority, and stand proudly behind our commitments."

"For now, we urge City Council to proceed with the existing CBA, given it is clear that a consensus from various West End stakeholders may not come together in a timely fashion. FC Cincinnati is willing to make reasonable improvements to the CBA, if such suggestions are brought forward over the next few days. But we cannot allow Greater Cincinnati to lose out on MLS expansion due to neighborhood infighting. A CBA has never been required before, and should not be a barrier to what will be a transformative development in the West End and throughout the region.”

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