FCC to travel Sunday to Columbus for ‘Hell is Real’ match

Several bars are opening up for the match on Sunday night.
The Hell is Real derby returns this weekend as FC Cincinnati travels up to Columbus to play the...
The Hell is Real derby returns this weekend as FC Cincinnati travels up to Columbus to play the Columbus Crew on Sunday.(Carter Skaggs/The Enquirer)
Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 10:25 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 18, 2023 at 10:41 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - FC Cincinnati and the Columbus Crew will go head-to-head this weekend for the Hell is Real derby, an homage to not only the two Ohio cities but also a billboard that has created quite the rivalry.

The series of matches derives from a religious sign people pass by on Interstate 71 between Cincinnati and Columbus, which says, “Hell Is Real” in large capital letters.

Sunday’s game will be the 12th game between the two Ohio Major League Soccer teams since FCC joined the league, and the 13th match since the Cincinnati team formed.

In the past, Columbus has come out victorious more so than Cincinnati, however, FCC has the opportunity to sweep the Crew in this year’s series since they won 3-2 on May 20 at TQL Stadium.

As the derby approaches, some Cincinnati businesses are getting ready to support the blue and the orange by hosting watch parties and events.

Official Watch Party

Since Sunday’s match will be in Columbus at Lower.com Field, FC Cincinnati is hosting the official watch party at O’Malley’s in the Alley. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.

Fans can eat and drink while enjoying activities, giveaways and a special appearance by Gary the Lion.

The First “Hell is Real” Blood Drive

Both teams are partnering with Hoxworth Blood Center and the University of Cincinnati for the first Hell is Real Blood Drive competition in a race to see which club’s fans can donate the most blood.

All donors will receive a complimentary “I Bleed Orange and Blue” t-shirt.

The blood drive will end on Aug. 25, and the winning team will be announced on social media that same day.

Other places to celebrate

There are 12 other pub partners with FC Cincinnati that will be opening their doors wide open for fans to come and watch the iconic match.

  • The Pitch Cincy
  • Alexandria Brewing Company
  • The Hi-Mark
  • Queen City Radio
  • Taglio
  • The Growler House
  • Rhinehaus
  • Molly Malone’s
  • Keystone Bar & Grill
  • Dickmann’s Sports Cafe
  • Bucketheads
  • Bean & Barley

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