FC Cincinnati says it will pay for new stadium, still needs county and city support
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - FC Cincinnati announced on Tuesday that the club will 100% finance its own soccer-specific stadium.
President and General Manager Jeff Berding made the announcement along side team owner and CEO Carl Lindner III, but said they still need public financial support for the infrastructure around the stadium.
Berding says Hamilton County should step up and support the project. He says the county has a pot of money from hotel tax revenue that is earmarked for other projects such as this that will attract tourism and increase economic development. That pot of money is $2.8 million. Berding says they would need approximately 70 to 75 million dollars for the infrastructure support.
"This money is waiting to be used. It's waiting for a project that will draw visitors to the area, that will improve tourism, that will promote our city. Under Mayor Cranley's vision, exactly like an FC Cincinnati MLS team and stadium," Berding said.
Berding says he has received support from Mayor Cranley and the city of Cincinnati, but that the city cannot fulfill the financial obligations for the infrastructure alone.
In an effort to become a member of Major League Soccer expansion, the club will privately finance the 21,000 seat stadium for $200 million.
"It's our bid to lose," Linder III said.
The club has not officially settled on a location for the new stadium, according to Berding. The West End, Oakley and Newport are all still options with Oakley appearing to be the most likely if the county provides the necessary support. He also says the club will pay for the new stadium no matter where it goes.
As it relates to the Oakley site, Berding says the financial support from the city and county would go to further site improvements, including a 1,000-space parking garage.
On Wednesday, the Hamilton County Commissioners responded saying they want Paul Brown Stadium to be option A and for FC Cincinnati to help them pitch that to the MLS. If that proposal is rejected, then and only then will they support a new stadium in Oakley as option B.
A report surfaced Monday saying Cincinnati is one of the final three cities being considered by the MLS for two expansion teams that will be announced on December 14. Nashville and Sacramento are other cities thought to be front-runners for expansion.
That's according to Grant Wahl, Senior Writer for Sports Illustrated, who appeared on FS1.
You can watch the full announcement from FC Cincinnati RIGHT HERE.