FC Cincinnati to use Oakley site in MLS bid; City, county to provide infrastructure help

FC Cincinnati to use Oakley site in MLS bid; City, county to provide infrastructure help
FC Cincinnati fans have been anticipating an MLS bid for more than a year now. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - FC Cincinnati representatives will head to New York City in December to try and secure a 2020 MLS expansion bid. Part of that bid will include a soccer-specific stadium plan at a site in Oakley.

The team plans to pay for the stadium but has asked the city and Hamilton County to help with site infrastructure.

Earlier this month, Berding said up to $75 million would be needed for infrastructure around an Oakley soccer stadium.

On Wednesday, county commissioners voted to approve $15 million in funding for a 1,000 space parking garage and city councilors approved a $37 million plan to finance roads and other infrastructure.

This help falls short of $75 million, but team general manager Jeff Berding says the Oakley site will be part of the team's expansion bid.

"We're taking Oakley up to MLS," he said Wednesday, after the commissioner vote.

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, present for the council's vote, said $37 million would be the city's cap. He said it would be up to the county or team to fill in whatever remaining gap there is.

"We still have work to do. We've made a commitment, though, that the public will not have any exposure to debt. If we use the Port Authority as a financing tool, however that gets worked out, that's going to have to be done in a manner that doesn't give the public any exposure of debt," Berding said, adding several details still have to be worked out.

MLS announced Wednesday that Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville, and Sacramento have been named finalists for the two expansion slots scheduled to be announced in December. Owners and officials representing the four prospective expansion markets will make formal presentations to MLS Commissioner Don Garber and the League's Expansion Committee.

Copyright 2017 WXIX. All rights reserved.