Sittenfeld: I don't support FCC soccer stadium in Oakley

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Cincinnati City Councilman PG Sittenfeld says he doesn't support Mayor John Cranley's current proposal involving the city and its taxpayers in building a new soccer stadium in Oakley.

FC Cincinnati has secured a site in Oakley for a potential soccer stadium, team organizers have said.

They want the city and Hamilton County for help with infrastructure funding.

Team owner Jeff Berding said if that funding comes through, the team could build at the former Cast-Fab Technologies site near Oakley Station. Read more about that by clicking or tapping here.

FCC representatives have said they'd fund a stadium privately, but the infrastructure bill could be at least $75 million.

Mayor John Cranley said last week he was trying to piece together that money, acknowledging he'd need help from the county. He put a plan together and City Council members say they'll discuss that plan Monday.

This is all happening because FC Cincinnati is vying for an MLS expansion bid. League owners will gather in December to decide which two cities will be granted bids.

On Thursday, Sittenfeld laid out his stance in a lengthy Facebook post.

He implied the process feels rushed (that full post can be read at the bottom of this article).

Sittenfeld posed several questions regarding the proposal that he claims remain unanswered:

  • What consideration has been given to closing the existing financing gap with an equity offering -- and if that’s not an option, why not?
  • Could a profit-sharing model be viable where the public benefits from the growth and success of FCC in return for the city’s front-end contributions?
  • Specifically in terms of economic impact and community benefit, what does being in MLS achieve for our city that being in USL does not? Please provide detail.
  • If a deal goes forward, what kind of Community Benefits Agreement will be incorporated? Will the non-permanent and permanent jobs a) pay above a living wage b) benefit local employees c) meet aspirational minority inclusion metrics?
  • What is the analysis on the ongoing sustainability of MLS as a league, when historically it has not been profitable?
  • If taxpayers help fund a stadium to achieve MLS status, and the future of MLS is a 2-tier system where underperforming teams are bumped down to the lower league, what will the response be to taxpayers who bought into being in the major league?
  • What “clawbacks” are there if for any reason FCC were to leave Cincinnati or be sold?
  • How is parking revenue being factored into this deal, and for how long?

Newport also has been mentioned as a potential landing site for a new FCC stadium.

That possibility remains in play until the city and county are able to put together the money necessary for Oakley site infrastructure.

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