FC Cincinnati receive local government backing for MLS stadium project

FC Cincinnati stadium rendering

On the same day they were revealed as one of the four finalists for the first two MLS expansion slots that are scheduled to be awarded by the end of the year, FC Cincinnati received a double show of support from local government for the club's prospective MLS stadium plans.

Hamilton County commissioners on Wednesday unanimously agreed to build a $15 million parking garage for a proposed soccer stadium. That vote was coupled with a Cincinnati City Council vote to invest $36 million in other infrastructure necessary for the project in the Oakley neighborhood, including roads and utilities.

“It is time for the community to come together arm and arm to demonstrate to Major League Soccer we want an MLS franchise awarded to Cincinnati,” Hamilton County Board of Commissioners president Todd Portune said Wednesday.

The club, which currently plays in USL where it has smashed attendance records over its two years of existence, plans to privately finance the construction of the stadium to the tune of $200 million.

"Thank you for supporting our bid to earn promotion to the first division of soccer, to bring a third professional sports franchise to this major league community," FC Cincinnati president Jeff Berding said.

"To be clear, we are funding 100 percent of this stadium privately. Our owners are putting up $350 million. By anyone's standards, that's a lot of money. That's a lot of risk. We are privately financing this so that taxpayers don't even have exposure to a penny of debt for the stadium."