One year to the day following a visit of Major League Soccer (MLS) Commissioner Don Garber to Cincinnati, the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County approved funding measures for an FC Cincinnati Stadium Infrastructure plan in Ohio. While FC Cincinnati initially presented three stadium sites to supporters at a June meeting, the Oakley community site will be the one presented to MLS on December 6th as FC Cincinnati was announced as one of four finalists for MLS expansion.
Message from FC Cincinnati President & GM Jeff Berding on proposed stadium.
With a large portion of the public debate over, FC Cincinnati supporters must work to show Major League Soccer that our city belongs in the league as their next franchise. Commissioner Don Garber spoke on the importance of various metrics for expansion clubs. It is crucial each market has a stadium plan (Oakley – check), the support and investment of the business community (Mercy Health Sponsorship – check), local ownership groups (Linders & Farmers – check) and involvement/passion of the fanbase (records galore – check). FC Cincinnati has hit all the criteria MLS has asked for. BUT WHAT CAN WE STILL DO TO HELP THE BID?
FC Cincinnati fans can take several steps to show Major League Soccer that we are a worthy expansion city.
- Watch the 2017 MLS Cup Final on December 9th. at 4:00 PM ET on ESPN or UniMás
- WHY? – The biggest knock FC Cincinnati has is the perception we are one of the smallest media markets among expansion candidates. Let’s forget the inclusion of Dayton argument here for a second and just watch the game. What a better way to show our market cares then being a Top 10 market of viewers for MLS Cup!
- Rally around the stadium in Ohio
- WHY? – While there may be some people disappointed that Newport, KY is not main stadium site, it’s time to come together and show how great Oakley can be. While the site is not 100% set in stone (potential West End location), it’s time to stop going after other supporters who disagree with you. The site plan in Oakley is within the city limits, is for the most part easy to get to from all parts of the city, is located in a hip and growing area, and represents a great public-private partnership in support of the bid. Potential negatives (ex. traffic, bar scenes, suburban feel) are all being addressed by the club with ownership working with developers on creating a feel similar to Clifton. Members of the ownership group are looking to develop approx. 13-15 acres next to the stadium with an additional 60 acres being unlocked for development with the infrastructure improvements. How many new bars, restaurants or hang outs could end up on this land? Quite a few. This represents a blank slate that could grow into something very special. NOTE: Some on social media may compare Oakley to other non-urban sites. Oakley has developed and will only continue to grow whereas other sites have little to no development around them. It’s a winning site.
- Celebrate our local ownership
- Make sure to state how important local ownership is to our bid and in our community. Special interests (ex. hotel complaint) will continue to crop up and we must state our support of our ownership. The Lindner’s are committed for the long haul. Chris Lindner (Carl’s son) is a member of the ownership group and will continue to be a part of the club long into the future. The owners $350+ investment will be hufge for our city. #InCarlWeTrust
- Engage positively with other MLS supporters & owners on social media
- One of the best things to have for our bid is the other clubs supporters being our cheerleader. FC Cincinnati supporters have shown time and time again that we will be there to back our team and are the envy of many clubs around the country. Do not attack people who say another market is a better, try to win them over with facts, or just connect politely on different platforms. We have shown we will travel and that will only add to the atmosphere at matched and in the purse strings of the other MLS clubs.
- Continue to reach out to elected officials of the City & Hamilton County
- Believe it or not, we are far away from the stadium issue being resolved. With several new council members coming into office in 2018, we must begin to win them over. Let’s work on reaching out to them on social media, email, etc to get them on our side. It doesn’t help if we attack even if some are misinformed. Be patient and encourage our leaders to connect with MLS online.
- Our city is a “Major League city”. We have plenty going for us including being the fastest growing/largest economy in Ohio. (Sorry Columbus & Cleveland) Our region has 8 Fortune 500 company HQ’s and 5 additional Fortuner 1000 bases. Cincinnati is a city on the rise and Major League Soccer leadership should take us. We are home run, a guarantee. Don’t take a risk on someone else when we are your next hallmark club.
These renderings were designed by Meis Architects and were shown to FC Cincinnati Season Ticket Holders on Monday 6/12/2017. Proposed stadium will cost approx. $200 million.