Mayor Cranley proposes financial support to FC Cincinnati stadium development
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley announced his financial proposal to support the infrastructure around a new stadium for FC Cincinnati in the Oakley neighborhood.
Cranley stressed that no public money would go into the stadium itself and that the city has done other development deals which are similar in principle.
He says he would like to offer $9.75 million from existing TIF resources in Oakley and an additional $7.38 million from the previous sale of the Blue Ash Airport.
In addition, Cranley would like to use a portion of the city and county's hotel/motel tax pool of money to support this development. The Mayor says that would come out to approximately $1.5 million annually for 30 years. The plan would still rely on the $15 million support the county has considered for the stadium's site. That all adds up to about $52 million of current public money, which is short of the $75 million that FC Cincinnati says it will need.
Cranley says this proposed development would bring thousands of jobs to the area and continue the city's renaissance. The Mayor added that the city would support any other private investor willing to build in the city, so why not FC Cincinnati?
He says he would like for city council to vote the week after Thanksgiving.
Councilmeman Chris Seelbach has opposed using city money to support the FC Cincinnati development. In response to Cranley's announcement, Seelbach suggested that the city should get partial ownership of the team in exchange for its financial support.
How about we give FCCincinnati the public dollars they want for infrastructure in exchange for partial ownership of the team, equal to our investment verse total costs?
FC Cincinnati released a statement following the Mayor's proposal.
We thank Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley for his strong leadership in stepping up with a major commitment for funding infrastructure necessary to support our $350 million in private investment to bring Major League Soccer to Cincinnati. We hope that Hamilton County will get us over the finish line.
FC Cincinnati President and General Manager Jeff Berding has said the club will pay 100% for its own stadium, but still needs the $75 million in public money for infrastructure support.
The Hamilton County Commissioners have said they want the team to make Paul Brown Stadium work as a primary option and would support Oakley as a secondary option with $15 million only if PBS does not work.
The MLS will announce its next two expansion teams on December 14. Cincinnati is one of three city's thought to be considered for those two expansion franchises.
You can watch Mayor Cranley's entire announcement from Friday RIGHT HERE.