FC Cincinnati GM: 'No interest' in building stadium on Housing A - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

FC Cincinnati GM: 'No interest' in building stadium on Housing Authority parcels

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FC Cincinnati fans cheer in the first half of a U.S. Open Cup soccer match against the Columbus Crew, Wednesday, June 14, 2017, in Cincinnati. FC Cincinnati won 1-0. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) FC Cincinnati fans cheer in the first half of a U.S. Open Cup soccer match against the Columbus Crew, Wednesday, June 14, 2017, in Cincinnati. FC Cincinnati won 1-0. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
A proposed stadium design released in 2017. (Provided by FCC) A proposed stadium design released in 2017. (Provided by FCC)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

What's going on with FC Cincinnati?

On the top of most people's minds, perhaps, is whether the team plans to build a new stadium in the West End. The answer could depend on the Cincinnati Public School board.

This past week, Berding sent a letter to the board saying the team would welcome a meeting to discuss a potential partnership. Why get involved with Cincinnati schools? Taft High School's Stargel Stadium has been rumored to be part of the land needed to build a stadium in the West End. It's at Ezzard Charles Drive and Central Avenue. The team would need the board's approval for that land.

The board met Wednesday and had a chance to hear from the public. Every speaker was against building a soccer-specific stadium in the West End.

At a Tuesday meeting, the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority voted to allow FC Cincinnati to buy parcels for development of homes. With that in mind, the NAACP released a statement Wednesday that read, in part:

The West End is a historically African American neighborhood that over the years has seen the fabric of its community strategically and systematically torn apart and gentrified in the name of "progress" and unfulfilled promises" ...

We are monitoring the developments with serious interest and until a definitive plan is presented, we will reserve comment and judgement ...

This came before Berding released a statement of his own Wednesday.

Q&A: Miami is getting an MLS franchise -- what does that mean for FC Cincinnati?

In it, he said he hopes to know in February whether FC Cincinnati has been awarded an MLS franchise.

Berding also said multiple soccer-specific stadium locations remain in play, including Oakley, where they're conducting a traffic study and environmental analysis. Newport -- the Ovation development -- also remains in play.

"At the appropriate time, we would look forward to additional meetings with elected officials, residents and area stakeholders," Berding said.

NAACP to FCC: 'We demand transparency' about West End plan

So what about the West End? What about CPS? Here are the highlights from the rest of Berding's statement:

For the West End, we are exploring whether we can assemble the land needed to allow for a stadium development...

FC Cincinnati’s interest in the CMHA parcels is to support residential development that brings more homes to the neighborhood. Media reports that have stated the FCC’s interest in these parcels is tied to a stadium site are incorrect as we have no interest in building a stadium on the CMHA parcels...

FC Cincinnati has already developed partnerships with Cincinnati Public Schools. We will continue to work on programming for introducing soccer, developing healthy lifestyles and supporting academic achievement. If our stadium plans require further partnership with CPS, FC Cincinnati will be committed to working together to improve CPS facilities and  programs which will make CPS better as a result...

I understand that there are fears that FC Cincinnati’s stadium could negatively impact Taft High School. I wish to put these concerns to rest. While there are several configurations that could work, none of them touch the High School building...

We want to ensure we move forward where the community is supportive and where we can do the most good where the stadium will be located...

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