FC Cincinnati moves closer to getting permanent home

FC Cincinnati moves closer to getting permanent home
FC Cincinnati fans now have an idea of how a Major League Soccer stadium would fit in the West End. (Source: FC Cincinnati)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - FC Cincinnati continues to cross things off its checklist in pursuit of a Major League Soccer bid.

That includes improving a West End community benefits agreement. City Council members signed off on changes to the agreement Wednesday.

As the team faced off Wednesday evening against Detroit City in Gettler Stadium, the excitement was elevated for some fans knowing that the team could soon have a permanent home in the West End.

"Cincinnati is home to me," said Alex Yersky. "Soccer is a sport I played since I was five years old, so being able to combine those two and say there's a possibility we're going to have a MLS team -- a professional team in Cincinnati -- is absolutely beyond my wildest dream."

Team leaders met with the West End Community Council earlier in the day to negotiate the terms of a community benefits agreement.

The team's General Manager Jeff Berding says the vote is the last legislative action needed to happen to the make a new soccer-specific stadium a reality.

"We've had five months of working together and building a foundation for a partnership where FC Cincinnati is not only going to build a stadium but we're going to be a part of a strong growing partnership with the West End," said Berding.

Some of the items in the agreement include the stadium construction team using 25 percent of minority businesses in the West End. FCC also promises to pay $100,000 annually for 30 years to West End organizations.

Some fans who live in the community that spoke with FOX19 say it's a win-win.

"I think it will create a lot of jobs -- especially in the West End. Some economic revitalization in the area, so more jobs, so it's better for the city," said Munashe Nyamayedenga.

Berding says if plans to bring the new stadium to the West End move forward this will bring international attention to Cincinnati attracting around 500 million eyes and bodies into stands worldwide.

Diehard fans say they are proud to be a part of the movement.

"It's going to bring so many people to this city and it's going to bring so much revenue and it's going to be a great thing," said Yersky.

The MLS Board of Governors is expected to visit the West End area within the next few weeks to check out the site.

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