FC Cincinnati MLS bid: Hamilton County's response expected Wednesday

Lawrence Kim
November 15, 2017

In an unprecedented press conference Tuesday afternoon, FC Cincinnati ownership said that they would "100 percent privately finance (their) own stadium".

But $75 million worth of infrastructure improvements would be required from the public till. Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley has identified the visitor occupancy (hotel) tax that generates $2.8 million per year and is not now targeted to any "uses".

Berding suggests Oakley is enjoying huge growth and the city and county will likely need to pay for infrastructure improvements around any future development anyway.

Berding mentioned that it appears as if the Hamilton County Commissioners do not now support the plan but will need to endorse the plan within the short term to see the club ensure an expansion place. But as the decision looms, FC Cincinnati is scrambling to finalize plans for a soccer-specific stadium, something team representatives have said is key to landing a bid. This could potentially still allow the club to proceed with a West End Community site.

Berding stopped shy of announcing a final site for the team's proposed stadium, but has said in the past that Oakley has been identified as a top site in OH, and Newport's riverfront property in Kentucky is also a potential spot.

The multi-city race for places in Major League Soccer has narrowed dramatically. MLS owners will gather in New York City on December 14 to make a decision.

The latest is in a report by Grant Wahl in Sports Illustrated that cites industry insiders that Cincinnati, Nashville, Sacramento and a fourth entrant, Miami, with another bid being put together by star David Beckham that's a separate item.

The Board of Commission meets Wednesday at 11 a.m. for its regular meeting and plans to address the stadium situation publicly afterward. The plans for an FC Cincinnati stadium now rest in the hands of our elected officials who may make an announcement over the next couple days.

MAKING SENSE OF IT ALL: In context, this makes the "move" of the MLS bid to Ford Field make a lot more sense. This story will be updated over the next 24 hours with corrections or additional information. Team wants to use (part?) Of $2.8 million hotel and convention tax revenues.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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