FC Cincinnati Could Have Issue With Stadium Displacing Residents
A group of more than 60 Cincinnati residents "plead with city officials to stop zoning that is pushing them out of their homes," despite FC Cincinnati pledging that "nobody would be displaced" by the construction of the team's stadium, according to Sharon Coolidge of the CINCINNATI ENQUIRER. At least 17 people "had to or will have to move because of the stadium." Residents said that they "believed team officials had assured them no one would have to move." However, FC Cincinnati actually said that nobody would "have to move for the stadium site itself." The team is building a privately funded, $250M stadium in the West End, part of its deal with MLS to be named an expansion team for this year. The Cincinnati City Council, in a 5-4 vote last year, "approved the team's request to build the stadium in the West End," along with about $35M in "taxpayer incentives for infrastructure work in and around the site." FC Cincinnati President & GM Jeff Berding made "several public promises that nobody would be displaced in building the stadium." While it is not "displacement for the stadium site itself, the crowd at the meeting did not make that distinction" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 4/24).
COME OUT AND SAY IT: In Cincinnati, Jason Williams wrote whether it is the "actual stadium site or adjacent land, if FC Cincinnati owns it, than it's all related to the new 26,500-seat venue." The adjacent land "might be used for parking or fan plazas or even new condos, but it's all owned by FC Cincinnati and centers on the club making its new home in the West End." Williams: "Why can't the team just be upfront about that?" Williams wrote FC Cincinnati Managing Owner & CEO Carl Lindner III and the ownership group "actually care a lot," and the $250M "private investment in a struggling neighborhood is a good thing for the city." But the "lack of transparency, the spin and parsing of words" coming from the team's front office is "overshadowing the good right now" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 4/23).