City Planning Commission approves FC Cincinnati stadium concept

Work on the stadium’s foundation should begin in April

FC Cincinnati stadium concept plan approved

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - What exactly is being planned for the new FC Cincinnati Stadium? A lot of those smaller details are being worked out.

An hours-long City Planning Commission meeting Friday ended with the approval of the concept plan for the FC Cincinnati stadium, laying a foundation to move forward.

“I think today was a great step forward for FC Cincinnati, for those two specific neighborhoods and for greater Cincinnati at large," Dan Driehaus with the City Planning Commission said.

Those two specific neighborhoods he’s referring to are Over-the-Rhine and West End.

A lot was discussed in the meeting including parking, design and the impact traffic will have near the stadium. The 26,500 seat soccer stadium will require the relocation of several businesses and streets within the area.

People who live in the area are skeptical.

“By closing off Central Park and closing off John, you’re actually ramming people further towards my street to escape the traffic," one West End resident said.

Cincinnati Ballet Academy officials say they welcome FC Cincinnati but do have some concerns. One of them is the fear that they’ll lose some parking.

“This lease runs through 2035," Cincinnati Ballet Official Steve King said. "So not only are we here as a neighbor but we are here as an owner of rights in the actual project itself.”

Others have concerns about the look of the stadium.

“As a neighborhood homeowner for the past five years, I have come to know many, many of my neighbors and the vast majority do not like the appearance of this stadium," one OTR resident said.

Stadium plans also include a proposal of the development of two buildings on the site. It’s not clear what those will be used for yet but officials did talk about possibly turning the buildings into a hotel, or outdoor eating and drinking area.

City officials say these are all steps in the right direction, but there is still a lot more work that needs to be done. A separate informational meeting to talk more about parking, analyze traffic flow and other specific items will happen in the future. Eventually a final development plan will have to be submitted to the planning commission.

Foundation work on the stadium is set to begin in April and should wrap up this July. The stadium should be completely finished in January of 2021.

To view documents from Friday afternoon’s meeting, click or tap here.

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