CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Mayor John Cranley says he is going to ask Cincinnati City Council to consider a significant investment in the infrastructure that would come with FC Cincinnati landing an MLS bid.
In December, MLS owners will gather in New York City and announce the winners of two expansion bids. Sacramento, Nashville, and Cincinnati have been mentioned as front runners for those slots. FC Cincinnati president and general manager Jeff Berding says the team would need a soccer-specific stadium to land a bid. Berding said the team would 100 percent privately fund the stadium, but is asking the city and Hamilton County to help with infrastructure needs (possibly at a site in Oakley).
"This city routinely provides public infrastructure support for private investment and this deal should be viewed in the same light," Cranley said Friday.
Cranley said these are a few of the points in the ordinance (the full PDF can be found below):
- Using roughly $9.5 million from existing TIF (tax increment financing) resources from Oakley's TIF district
- Using roughly $7.3 million from the proceeds of the last sale of the Blue Ash airport
- Asking the county allows the city to redirect its surplus from the hotel/motel tax (the surplus comes to the city after all the debt service is paid off for the Convention Center and other things, says Cranley)
The bill for site infrastructure could be at least $75 million.
In terms of county help, commissioners have said they're open to building a parking garage for the Oakley site.
"All of this is contingent on (FC Cincinnati) landing a bid," said Cranley.
Cranley believes FC Cincinnati is part of the city's "renaissance."
"We will unlock great opportunities for new jobs in our city, in our region, in Oakley -- that is good for all of us," Cranley said.