FCC, Music Hall reach agreement on hot-button noise issue

City Council considers ordinances for FCC

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - One week after FC Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Arts Association released contentious, opposing reports on the team’s potential sound impact in the West End, the two sides reached an agreement.

FCC President Jeff Berding announced the news via Twitter Wednesday morning.

“Pleased to announce we have reached agreement with Cincinnati Arts Association, CSO, Opera & other Arts organizations for Music Hall. Carl H. Lindner III has signed, and we expect to have a fully executed agreement by 1 pm today,” Berding’s tweet read.

Cincinnati Arts Association released a statement of their own Wednesday afternoon about the agreement.

They say Music Hall and FCC have agreed to work together as ‘good neighbors’ and try to avoid as many occasions where performances at the venue and games at FCC’s new stadium occur.

The association hopes this will minimize the impact of the stadium’s noise on Music Hall.

The two sides also came to an agreement about parking, the arts association says.

They say FCC will manage the Town Center Garage on game days and hold a substantial amount of parking in the garage for audience members when games and performances at Music Hall overlap.

The arts association also added that this agreement does not affect the ongoing negotiations between the Cincinnati Ballet and FCC regarding the Ballet Center.

This morning the Arts Organizations entered into an agreement of cooperation and support with FC Cincinnati regarding specifically the relationship between the new stadium and Music Hall. The Parties in regard to Music Hall and Stadium Operations have agreed to work together as good neighbors and in good faith on concerns related to noise, parking, traffic, and scheduling. Our collective goal is to minimize the number of occasions where performances at Music Hall occur at the same time as FC Cincinnati home games, and to minimize the impact of the stadium’s noise on Music Hall on the occasions when there are simultaneous events. 
Van Ackerman, Vice President, Marketing & Communications

The sudden agreement comes after the arts association released an initial independent study Feb. 5 on the sound impact FCC’s new stadium could have on performances inside Springer Auditorium.

Cincinnati’s professional soccer team quickly released a biting retort citing their own examples for why noise from their stadium would not be an issue.

Cincinnati Arts Association’s report said noise from a typical game at the soon-to-be West End stadium will be ‘readily audible by the audience and performers.’

FCC, however, hit back citing their current, closer proximity to music venues on the University of Cincinnati’s campus and noted that they’ve never received a noise complaint throughout their partnership.

FCC President Jeff Berding offered biting remarks in response to a study on noise impacts of the new FCC stadium in the West End released by the Cincinnati Arts Association.
FCC President Jeff Berding offered biting remarks in response to a study on noise impacts of the new FCC stadium in the West End released by the Cincinnati Arts Association.

Not letting sleeping dogs lie, the arts association countered FCC’s response.

They argue that according to independent firm Akustiks’ research, the crowd size comparison would only make the new West End stadium two dB lower than the Nippert Stadium crowd. The arts association also argued their report shows that the distance comparison only lowers the dB by 4 dB at the West End location.

The arts association argued that Music Hall and Springer Auditorium are much older than UC’s buildings and not built for the same type of noise.

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