FC Cincinnati reveals stadium sites for MLS expansion, lays out - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

FC Cincinnati reveals stadium sites for MLS expansion, lays out execution plan

(Photo: Facebook/FC Cincinnati) (Photo: Facebook/FC Cincinnati)
FC Cincinnati President and GM Jeff Berding (FOX19 NOW/Jeremy Rauch) FC Cincinnati President and GM Jeff Berding (FOX19 NOW/Jeremy Rauch)
(FOX19 NOW/File) (FOX19 NOW/File)
CINCINNATI (FOX19) -

FC Cincinnati has narrowed down three potential sites where it could build a new stadium if the club is granted a Major League Soccer franchise, FC Cincinnati President and GM Jeff Berding told FOX19 NOW Thursday.

The sites include Newport, Oakley and the West End and would come with a $250 million stadium investment from the FC Cincinnati ownership group.

“We’re not going to win the (MLS) bid unless we figure out a way to build our own stadium,” said Berding. “We have no plans of raising anyone’s taxes. We’re not going to institute a new fee. Carl Lindner III and his family for decades have brought thousands of jobs and new business to Cincinnati and have never asked for a tax break. We’ll need a little help but that’s not all that uncommon.”

FC Cincinnati submitted paperwork to become an MLS franchise in January and is expecting to have an answer by the end of 2017. If they are one of two teams selected this year for expansion, Cincinnati would begin MLS play in the 2020 season.

“They’ve said if we want to win the bid and win an MLS franchise coming here, that we’ll need to secure a soccer specific stadium at some point,” Berding told FOX19 NOW. “We want to be in the urban core. We have some very attractive locations and we’re seeing if we can figure out a way to make it happen.”

Berding maintains his confidence that FC Cincinnati will become an MLS franchise once the league sees what they plan to do with a new stadium backed by an already proven fanbase who has set several USL records in just over one season of existence.

“We’re the most proven market,” said Berding. “We’re outdrawing 12 MLS teams right now. We’re going to have concerts (at the stadium), high school games, college games. We would bid to bring the U.S. men’s qualifiers and U.S. women’s qualifiers. Let’s have USA play Mexico in Cincinnati or the MLS All-star Game.”

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