City Council committee approves $37 million infrastructure plan for FC Cincinnati stadium

City Council committee approves $37 million infrastructure plan for FC Cincinnati stadium
(FOX19 NOW file)

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Cincinnati City Council's Budget Committee approved $37 million in funding towards an FC Cincinnati stadium in Oakley Monday. There will be a final vote Wednesday.

Several Cincinnati residents packed into the council chambers for the meeting voicing their support, or concerns against building a new FC Cincinnati stadium.

"I think it's very irresponsible. I don't think it's something that the city needs we need to work on childhood poverty and several other issues," Hyde Park resident Lela Cooper said.

"It would be an exciting thing especially for visitors who maybe don't know about the team. They'll drive by the stadium maybe they're staying in town when there's a game and it draws interest for out of town people," Westwood resident Josh Godbey said.

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said now is the time to act.

"Major League Soccer is the fastest growing sport in the country. It's the most popular sport in the world and we have a chance to get in early on the trend," he said.

Amy Murray, Kevin Flynn and Chris Smitherman support FCC. Councilmen Chris Seelbach and Sittenfeld opposed Cranley's plan.

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

Last week, FC Cincinnati President Jeff Berding announced the club had secured a site for the privately-funded stadium: the former Cast-Fab Technologies site, near Oakley Station.

This would allow the team to buy the land if the city of Cincinnati and Hamilton County are able to come up with infrastructure funding, according to Berding.

Even if FCC, the city and county come to an agreement, there's still no guarantee construction will ever begin on the stadium. It all hinges on whether Cincinnati lands an MLS expansion bid.

MLS leaders have said a soccer-specific site is necessary for a winning bid.

The Queen City is reportedly up against Sacrament and Nashville. In December, MLS owners will gather in New York City and announce the winners of two expansion bids.

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