'Build It Here': FCC fans ask county leaders about soccer stadium

(Provided, FC Cincinnati)
(Provided, FC Cincinnati)
Published: Sep. 25, 2017 at 9:10 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 26, 2017 at 8:59 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The Hamilton County Commissioners meeting was filled with support for FC Cincinnati on Tuesday night as the team is seeking help from the county to make a stadium project possible.

'Build It Here' is described as being committed to bringing soccer supporters and citizens together to support a fair stadium solution for FC Cincinnati in the city of Cincinnati.

[What an FC Cincinnati stadium might look like]

If the club is granted a Major League Soccer franchise, FC Cincinnati has narrowed down three potential sites where it could build a new stadium.

The sites include Newport, Oakley and the West End and would come with a $250 million stadium investment from the FC Cincinnati ownership group.

The stadium would seat 25,000 fans.

FC Cincinnati submitted paperwork to become an MLS franchise in January and is expecting to have an answer by the end of 2017. If they are one of two teams selected this year for expansion, Cincinnati would begin MLS play in the 2020 season.

[FC Cincinnati reveals stadium sites for MLS expansion, lays out execution plan]

Right now the financial plan is incomplete, the owners are committing to picking up half of the tab and tout that another massive stadium in the area would be good for economic growth. The goal is to start construction in spring 2018.

Those opposed to the project cited concerns over the cities past stadium deals and the money Paul Brown Stadium has cost taxpayers.

"We're not looking to institute a new tax. We're not looking to raise taxes," FC Cincinnati President and General Manager Jeff Berding said. "...that was different response to a different community need and community challenge in the mid-90's."

Berding said the club has $250 million in private funding for the project. According to the County Commissioners presentation, the project would cost an estimated $200 million, that figure does not include the cost of site preparation, roads and other infrastructure projects.

For FCC a stadium project is one they hope will move forward quickly because of a looming MLS expansion decision.

"Everyone asks, which site do we like the most - and my answer has been consistent: The one I can make happen," Berding said. "MLS has been very clear we're competing against 11 other cities and a soccer specific stadium is one of the requirements."

No officials on the state or federal level have made any announcements on government assistance.

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