FC Cincinnati: Expansion news could come in a few days

FC Cincinnati: Expansion news could come in a few days
Source: FC Cincinnati, Facebook

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - After months of deadlines, delays and deals, FC Cincinnati's fate with Major League Soccer could soon come into focus.

"I think we'll hear some news here within the next few days, week at the latest," Club president and GM Jeff Berding told FOX19 NOW when asked about the next steps in FCC's expansion bid.

Berding says "news" could mean almost anything – whether it's another brief statement from MLS or the final resolution we've been waiting for.

Last December, MLS admitted Nashville into the league with an announcement in Music City. Berding hinted that a similar path is possible for Cincinnati.

"If we're going to have something happen, I assume it will be in-market here," Berding said.

Berding also noted the timing of Nashville's expansion. The club pitched their bid to league officials in New York on Dec. 6. About two weeks later, Nashville was officially confirmed as the MLS's 24th franchise.

League officials are reportedly visiting Cincinnati's stadium site "in the very near future," ESPN reporter Jeff Carlisle said Tuesday.

MLS owners released a rare statement saying they plan to "continue discussions" with the three finalists – Cincinnati, Detroit and Sacramento. The board met in Los Angeles Tuesday to discuss expansion bids, but did not take a formal vote.

While it appears all three cities are on even playing fields, the statement offered a single glimpse of hope for Cincinnati fans.

"The MLS Board of Governors viewed the recent Cincinnati City Council vote on the West End stadium as a positive step forward for Cincinnati's expansion bid," the statement read.

MLS has twice delayed awarding the second franchise.

If MLS awards a franchise to FC Cincinnati, the city would spend $33.8 million for roads and other infrastructure for the stadium. Funds would come from a variety of sources including the Downtown/Over-the-Rhine East TIF district, the sale of the Blue Ash Airport, the city's portion of the Hamilton County hotel tax and the city's capital fund.

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