County Officials Want FC Cincinnati To Use Bengals' Stadium, Not Soccer-Specific Venue
Hamilton County (Ohio) Commissioner Todd Portune yesterday said that the county’s priority "rests in FC Cincinnati using Paul Brown Stadium as 'Option A,'" but the USL club retorted that "using the NFL stadium would lead to a 'losing bid'" for MLS expansion, according to Charlie Hatch of the CINCINNATI ENQUIRER. In a statement, MLS said it “continues to prioritize soccer-specific stadiums as a criteria for the selection of MLS expansion markets.” The county "did offer 'Option B,' which was the construction of an Oakley parking garage near the proposed stadium site that could hold 1,000 vehicles." Monday "marked a month" until MLS’ expansion announcement, and FC Cincinnati "still lacks a confirmed stadium location." At this point, the club is "competing against three factors: time, location and two other expansion rivals." Each day without a "sealed deal is another day closer to an MLS announcement with an incomplete bid" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 11/16). Portune said that the Bengals' home stadium, which is "paid for through a county-wide sales tax, makes sense as a home for FC Cincinnati and would be far less costly than building a new, soccer-only stadium." Portune: "We believe Paul Brown Stadium can work. Paul Brown Stadium is our first option." In Cincinnati, Wartman & Horn note County Commissioner Chris Monzel was "more blunt." Monzel said, "The county already owns two stadiums. We don't need any more stadiums." Team officials have "pushed for" up to $75M in taxpayer help to build a $200M stadium in Oakley, which they "say is the price of admission to MLS." Portune and the other commissioners "hope they can convince MLS to relax its policy of soccer-only stadiums." He said that he "spoke to the assistant of MLS Commissioner Don Garber on Tuesday." He is "waiting to hear back" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 11/16).
HOME BUILDING: In Louisville, Danielle Lerner notes the city "secured deed rights to land for a stadium development district that is to include a future home" for USL club Louisville City FC. Louisville Metro Government paid $17.4M for "three pieces of land in the Butchertown neighborhood." Jeff Mosley, General Counsel to Mayor Greg Fischer, said that the city "expects to close this week on a fourth piece of land." The stadium deal "requires the club's owners to spend" at least $130M in private capital on the development, including $45M on the stadium itself, and "pay back" $14.5M to the city. The city's "financial responsibility is capped" at $30M (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 11/16).