MLS expansion hopeful Cincinnati receive City Council approval for stadium

FC Cincinnati stadium rendering

MLS expansion candidate Cincinnati brought their stadium dreams a step closer to reality on Monday, as the Cincinnati City Council approved a proposed deal for a West End site by a 5-4 margin.

This followed the signing of a community benefits agreement with neighborhood stakeholders. Cincinnati ownership promised to create a community fund to support soccer, establish a commission to carry out that pledge, allow for input on stadium design from the community, and set minimum targets in hiring women, minorities and small businesses in building the stadium.

Cincinnati's expansion bid is spearheaded by FC Cincinnati ownership, whose team have regularly led the USL in attendance since entering the league in 2016. They currently play at Nippert Stadium, a 40,000-seat outdoor stadium located on the University of Cincinnati's Clifton campus.

FC Cincinnati president Jeff Berding spoke to reporters immediately after the vote.

Cincinnati are looking to join Nashville as the latest MLS expansion team, from a group of 12 cities that applied for MLS expansion in January 2017.