Jeff Berding, GM of FC Cincinnati, has been in talks with Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) about the potential of procuring a piece of land on the West End of Cincinnati. This site would be the home for the new FC Cincinnati stadium, and it is one of the last pieces required to secure an MLS bid.
Before this news surfaced on January 23, the fans were sure that the new stadium would be in Oakley.
The potential change in location might be shocking to some people. However, Jeff Berding and FC Cincinnati have been transparent about the possibility of the stadium landing in one of three locations – Oakley, Over the Rhine, or Newport.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of each site.
Oakley was still the preferred site, as of November. This site is located Just a few miles north of Cincinnati, off of I-71. It is a central location with easy access to the highway. There is a number of local restaurants in the area, and there is also a great potential for new businesses.
However, there are also a couple of issues with the Oakley site. The community is hesitant to accept the site with open arms as traffic at Oakley Station, due to Kroger and Crossroads, is already highly congested. This site would require a large amount of infrastructure improvements to accommodate the flow of traffic and influx of pedestrians. That still might not be enough.
The West End
Written off months ago, and only brought up a handful of times, is the location in The West End. But The West End arguably provides more positive community impact than the Oakley site. The West End site is more accessible from highways and also provides more pedestrian traffic through downtown, Over The Rhine, and Pendleton.
The West End provides one major hurdle: there are over fifteen separate landowners. FC Cincinnati would have to negotiate with each and every landowner in order to secure the space. This could lead to a rise in the cost of purchasing. There is also no guarantee that every owner would be willing to sell.
Newport has been an issue of contention between the FC Cincinnati fans. The location is prime, and right on the River. There’s an even more accessible nightlife area, complete with multiple restaurants and bars large enough to house the fanbase. The Cincinnati skyline would also prove to be a beautiful backdrop for the game itself.
However, some fans have stated that the “backdrop of Cincinnati” should not be the main reason for choosing to build a stadium in Newport. One reason fans believe the stadium should stay within the state is that the club is from Cincinnati. Fans argue that since Cincinnati is located in Ohio, not Kentucky, the stadium should stay there.
The fans are split on where the location for the FC Cincinnati stadium should be. There are a lot of factors that need to be considered and every site has their pros and cons. As one fan, Jenn Landis, who is a proponent for a Cincinnati-based stadium puts it, “I think the spirit of the team began in Ohio, and that’s where it [the stadium] should remain.”
One thing that all fans can agree on is that no matter where the stadium ends up, they will still be at the games to support their club.