FC Cincinnati abandons 'once in a lifetime' West End development - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

FC Cincinnati abandons 'once in a lifetime' West End development plans

A proposed stadium design released in 2017. (Provided by FCC) A proposed stadium design released in 2017. (Provided by FCC)

FC Cincinnati has abandoned its plans to build a stadium in the West End.

Cincinnati Public Schools said Friday it will consider a resolution next week that deals with a land agreement with FC Cincinnati.  It appeared Thursday that the West End discussions were over, but CPS made it sound like they wanted to move at their own pace on this.

In a proposed resolution, CPS even referred to FC Cincinnati's Thursday behavior as unreasonable. (You can read the full thing below, as well as a layout for a deferred payment schedule in response to the land deal.)

Shortly after CPS released these documents on Friday, FC Cincinnati responded. Here's what they had to say:

The proposed resolution received by FC Cincinnati this evening from the CPS Board of Education is consistent with its position of the past several weeks. CPS is asking FC Cincinnati to pay $20 million over 10 years.

FC Cincinnati has offered to pay $750,000 each year over its first 10 years in the new stadium, and to pay a consistent annual amount thereafter. This investment by FC Cincinnati of approximately $7,500,000 over the first 10 years in the new stadium is more than $6,800,000 more than CPS currently receives. In addition to this investment by FC Cincinnati, CPS would have benefitted from a new $10 million first-class Stargel Stadium for Taft High School and more than a dozen CPS schools and community organizations.

Finally, CPS will lose new tax revenues generated by new residential and other development in the West End community.

When FC Cincinnati moves forward to construct its stadium in Oakley or Newport, a tax-abated, high end CitiRama development on the proposed new Stargel Stadium site will permanently remove any development opportunities of this magnitude on the site proposed by FC Cincinnati.

CPS has also directed FC Cincinnati to enter into a legally binding Community Benefits Agreement with a coalition of community organizations and residents in the West End neighborhood. FC Cincinnati has been informed the benefits demanded under the Community Benefits Agreement will cost upwards of $50 million over ten years comprised of an initial payment of $30 million plus $1-2 million annually thereafter. As with any business, FC Cincinnati must consider the economics surrounding this significant investment. By CPS adding $50-60 million in CPS and West End neighborhood costs to the investment by FC Cincinnati of approximately $400 million, the economics of privately funding a stadium in the West End community are impractical.

This was a once in a lifetime development opportunity for a neighborhood that wants and needs new investment, and the jobs and business opportunities that would have come with it.

FC Cincinnati regrets that it will be unable to construct a stadium in the West End community and have moved our focus to Oakley and Newport.

While we are disappointed we will not be neighbors with our new friends in the West End, we are committed to remaining partners working to improve the quality of life in the neighborhood.

In the meantime, will still do not know the following: 

  • Whether FC Cincinnati has been granted an MLS expansion bid
  • An official timeline for that decision
  • Where the team would build its self-funded soccer-specific stadium
  • Whether the West End location is officially out of play

FOX19 NOW will continue to follow this story.

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