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FC Cincinnati Discussion

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Some interesting commentary, coming out of the trip to San Jose: http://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/soccer/fc-cincinnati/2016/07/29/buckle-up-fc-cincinnati-fans/87737924/

 

In regards to the "ideal" stadium size:

The standard for most MLS teams upon entrance to the league (with a couple notable exceptions in Seattle and the Bronx in New York City) and is to have a soccer-specific stadium. Through implementing this standard, MLS has transformed itself from a league that played in cavernous, mostly empty NFL and college football stadiums to a league that packs fans into smaller, more intimate venues that feature European soccer-stadium aesthetics. You can't argue with the success of that initiative. San Jose's Avaya Stadium is a great case study in this - an 18,000 seat stadium with a Euro-esque canopy. It's beautiful and the smaller capacity creates scarcity for tickets in the marketplace.

 

I love the atmosphere at Nippert, so I hope they never leave. If it really is necessary to reduce seats (I don't think that argument makes sense) perhaps they could replace some of the bleachers with actual seats. That would make it more comfortable and make it easier to fill the stadium.

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^If UC gets an invite to the Big 12 later this year, which is seeming increasingly likely, they will likely add even more capacity to Nippert in the next decade. Right now it works for FC Cincinnati because even with the top stands closed off, it still has an intimate feel. I'm not sure UC will be able to pull off the same intimate feel if they add another 10,000 seats or so - since up is really the only way they have to go to get in more seats.

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A lot of my old college buddies from SWO are posting about FC Cincinnati on social media these days. Looks like they're having a blast going to games. Wish Cleveland had something like for soccer, not sure what venue would work though.

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^If UC gets an invite to the Big 12 later this year, which is seeming increasingly likely, they will likely add even more capacity to Nippert in the next decade. Right now it works for FC Cincinnati because even with the top stands closed off, it still has an intimate feel. I'm not sure UC will be able to pull off the same intimate feel if they add another 10,000 seats or so - since up is really the only way they have to go to get in more seats.

 

I think the two obvious expansion strategies for the stadium would be to extend the existing upper deck around the south curve and then to rebuild and double-deck the stands in the north end zone.  The stadium's bowl was not completed in the late 80's expansion because the power plant was still north of the north end zone.  When the new power plant was built, there was obviously an opportunity to complete the bowl.  Instead they built the CRC right up against the stadium when plenty of unused land existed north of the site.  So if they really want to add some seats to the stadium, they're stuck having to demo part of the 10 year-old CRC. 

 

An unrelated issue enabled by a major expansion is that by eliminating the first row of seats in the bowl, the field can be raised a few feet and the field size expanded for soccer. 

 

Also, don't discount the boon that area restaurants and bars are enjoying from these games in what is otherwise a dead time of year.  They're going to get used to it really quick and lobby to have the team remain at Nippert.  What's cool about the schedule is that it overlaps one month into the UC academic schedule, so incoming students will be introduced to the team right away.  It won't be some myth that shows up at the end of their freshman year. 

 

 

 

 

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I think any expansion will put a big premium on suites. Because of that, I think it's more likely you would see a demo of the Hershede-Schank Pavilion on the  east and an expansion similar to what was done in the last couple years. Seems like this would likely reduce capacity or not increase it.

 

 

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I think any expansion will put a big premium on suites. Because of that, I think it's more likely you would see a demo of the Hershede-Schank Pavilion on the  east and an expansion similar to what was done in the last couple years. Seems like this would likely reduce capacity or not increase it.

 

I like that idea... and that does make sense. It would allow for more premium seating while making it easier to fill the lower bowls.

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FC Cincinnati just posted a timelapse video showing how the turf at Nippert gets re-painted to switch from football to soccer lines. My understanding is that the paint is soluble paint that can be washed off using a special machine and dissolving solution. I'm curious how much that whole process costs. But the fact that they can do this so easily/quickly illustrates how it makes sense to share facilities. Especially since the USL schedule wraps up in early September. If the MLS allows FC Cincinnati to remain at Nippert, then there would be overlap since the MLS season goes until December. But whatever the costs are to re-paint the turf, I'm sure it's still a LOT cheaper than acquiring new land (almost certainly in an inferior location), building a new (inferior) stadium, and maintaining a separate facility. 

 

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Is anyone else petrified by the prospect that Cranley is going to take the MLS Commish on a "driving tour" of Cincinnati?

Let's find that guy's twitter feed and start making suggestions when the date draws closer.

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Is anyone else petrified by the prospect that Cranley is going to take the MLS Commish on a "driving tour" of Cincinnati?

Let's find that guy's twitter feed and start making suggestions when the date draws closer.

 

@TheSoccerDon aka Don Garber. Cranely's taking him on a "driving tour." Having talked with several FCC supporters, I hope Cranely understands that any applause he encounters along the way is for Don Garber/MLS and not for him.

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Those south end zone corners are going to look downright horrible.  What's shown in the rendering would have been okay - though a big downgrade from how Nippert looks today - but that plan seems to be more of a final image than the rendering, which is depressing.

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moonloop[/member] - do you have higher resolution versions of those?

 

In the rendering, on the north side, it looks (though I'm not 100% sure) like they added some rows *below* the existing seating.

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Saw this posted elsewhere - this is going to look so dumb.

 

By the looks of it, they aren't adding any more rows at the bottom (they probably can't do that as the first row is already at field level)  - they are removing the first few rows of bleachers.

 

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Details from Garber's visit: http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2016/11/29/cincinnati-deserves-an-mls-team-mls-commissioner.html

 

Overall, seems like it was a very positive visit, and Garber certainly didn't do/say anything to tamp down expectations about Cincinnati being on the shortlist for expansion. I'm glad to hear that it seems like playing at Nippert is at least an option on the table (i.e. it doesn't preclude Cincinnati from joining the MLS).

 

“Nippert Stadium has really done well for you, and I think for now it’s a great solution,” Garber said.

 

But MLS likes to see downtown stadiums with real grass fields that are built for soccer, he said. It also prefers stadiums that team owners control, which maximizes revenue opportunities. Nippert has none of those things.

 

Garber didn’t rule out FC Cincinnati because of Nippert, but he said the club’s leaders will have to decide if that’s the best stadium situation over the long run.

 

“You’ve got lots of time to figure out if that’s the best long-term solution,” he said. “I don’t know that I would say it’s make or break. This is a process and this is the first step. It’s only year one.”

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On one hand he says FCC needs it's own soccer specific stadium. Then he goes to say that what the MLS has learned is that soccer stadiums in the City's core help attendance, and points to Portland.  So again why cant they just stay at Nippert?

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On one hand he says FCC needs it's own soccer specific stadium. Then he goes to say that what the MLS has learned is that soccer stadiums in the City's core help attendance, and points to Portland.  So again why cant they just stay at Nippert?

Where did Garber say that FCC *needs* its own stadium? He said that was what was preferred, but acknowledged the benefits of using Nippert and said it wasn't a make or break part of the decision.

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As excited as I am for FCC to join MLS, I'd almost rather they stay in the USL if that means they remain at Nippert. I've been to MLS matches in Philadelphia and Chicago, and both those "soccer-specific stadiums" were pretty ugly and far, far away from the city.

 

It's good that MLS seems to now acknowledge that it's better for stadiums to be in urban areas, but do we really want another gigantic sports venue that gets used less than half the year taking up valuable real estate? PBS especially seems so silly given the taxpayer cost and the fact that it gets used, what, like 12 times a year?

 

Seems like MLS is pushing the stadium thing because it improves their revenue stream, and the other reasons (team pride, grass, etc) are mostly cover.

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On one hand he says FCC needs it's own soccer specific stadium. Then he goes to say that what the MLS has learned is that soccer stadiums in the City's core help attendance, and points to Portland.  So again why cant they just stay at Nippert?

Where did Garber say that FCC *needs* its own stadium? He said that was what was preferred, but acknowledged the benefits of using Nippert and said it wasn't a make or break part of the decision.

 

Garber confirmed what many had long ago accepted – that FC Cincinnati’s deal to play home matches at the University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium likely wasn’t a long term, MLS-level stadium solution.

 

"I think what they've been able to do (at Nippert) is spectacular, but we do believe that our clubs will be more successful in soccer stadiums," Garber said.

 

 

http://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/soccer/fc-cincinnati/2016/11/29/garber-fc-cincinnati-they-have-done-lot-things-really-well/94635734/

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They just need to have him attend a match at Nippert to see what the atmosphere is like.  It's one thing to walk around an impressive but empty stadium, and another to be there when the fans are going crazy.  Also, the traffic/parking situation around UC on gameday isn't helping things.  I'm not sure if there's a fix for that or not, though.

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These games are not really that festive because it's mostly middle class people.  All of the first-year FC fanboys would stop showing up if the equivalent of Steelers fans started patronizing the place. 

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Wouldn't a Mt Auburn Tunnel bringing the streetcar to UC and Nippert Stadium be a much better investment for the city while effectively putting the stadium downtown (mere minutes from Fountain Square?)

 

Doesn't this stadium talk when there are so many other better, more competitive investments to make seem like Groundhog Day over and over again? Are our corporate leaders going to drag us down the rabbit hole?

 

Won't a stadium sit empty most of the time, which means if it's downtown it could kill off the pedestrian street life it's seeking to locate near?

 

 

 


www.cincinnatiideas.com

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I was thinking about where a good spot for a stadium and I keep coming back to the public school stadium they have behind district 1. The land is there and additional could be acquired quickly. The city or school board owns the land for the stadium which would make it easy to construct. They should be for this idea because there could be a provision to allow the local HS to continue using that new facility rent free on Friday's and many Saturdays in the fall (which wont conflict with soccer games) and gives the stadium additional use.

 

IT would be a great location for the team because it would connect it to OTR and help develop other areas of the West End easily. you would have the parking garage and some infrastructure from Music Hall nearby. Washington Park is a 3 minute walk from there, and for the most part, there is already good highway access. It would make it easy to go to the OTR bars and reatrauants after the games too and provide a nice addition to the urban fabric.

 

 

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Not that it will ever happen, but Bengal's practice fields would work for a soccer specific site.

 

Spinney Field?

 

I was thinking about where a good spot for a stadium and I keep coming back to the public school stadium they have behind district 1. The land is there and additional could be acquired quickly. The city or school board owns the land for the stadium which would make it easy to construct. They should be for this idea because there could be a provision to allow the local HS to continue using that new facility rent free on Friday's and many Saturdays in the fall (which wont conflict with soccer games) and gives the stadium additional use.

 

I like the idea but there might not be enough room. 

 

This whole situation is ridiculous.  Building a new stadium for this team (private or public) is a complete waste and everyone knows it.  Many college football teams play in bizarre old stadiums with bleacher seats and grad student offices or even dorms under the grandstands, but Nippert Stadium is a better stadium than most.  Look at the dozen or so college football stadiums that hold close to or over 100,000 people -- they're all less than ideal, but the huge crowds keep coming, generation after generation. 

 

 

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^The practice fields next to the stadium. I know some think those fields are an incredible waste, but I can't picture office or residential there. Interesting if a soccer stadium could fit. What about further west in Queensgate. A lot of land has been cleared over the years.

 

Keep in mind, if UC ever gets an invite(seems far fetch now) to a big 5 conf. they would be obligated to expand Nippert. More suites plus 10K seats increase. Texas isn't going to play UC in a 40K stadium. Hell, I think some high schools in Texas seat more than Nippert. Would FCC still seem like a good fit at Nippert.

 

I'll project even further. The Bengals sent a letter to Hamilton County a year or two ago wanting to discussed improvements to PBS. I haven't heard an update since but don't be surprise if there's a request for 100m or two for "improvements".

 

I think their lease expires in 2026 and as we all know is consider one of the worst stadium deals ever. Negotiations would start well before then, if FCC could hang in for 6-8 years there may be an opening.

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Not that it will ever happen, but Bengal's practice fields would work for a soccer specific site.

 

Spinney Field?

 

I was thinking about where a good spot for a stadium and I keep coming back to the public school stadium they have behind district 1. The land is there and additional could be acquired quickly. The city or school board owns the land for the stadium which would make it easy to construct. They should be for this idea because there could be a provision to allow the local HS to continue using that new facility rent free on Friday's and many Saturdays in the fall (which wont conflict with soccer games) and gives the stadium additional use.

 

I like the idea but there might not be enough room. 

 

This whole situation is ridiculous.  Building a new stadium for this team (private or public) is a complete waste and everyone knows it.  Many college football teams play in bizarre old stadiums with bleacher seats and grad student offices or even dorms under the grandstands, but Nippert Stadium is a better stadium than most.  Look at the dozen or so college football stadiums that hold close to or over 100,000 people -- they're all less than ideal, but the huge crowds keep coming, generation after generation. 

 

 

 

Jake - It would be a waste if it is only used 10-12 times a year like PBS. I don't think people find GABP a waste. So how do you justify the cost of a 200 million stadium that seats about 25-30k ? That is why this site would work well. You have a state of the art soccer facility, but you can also add 10-12 weeks of HS FB for the city schools there. A 20-30k Stadium is much better to use than PBS for these events. On top of that, you can have playoff games there too. It would also have a few outdoor concerts a year and you can maybe come up with other events that would nto be appropriate for PBS because of the size and costs. Now you have a venue in use for 60-70 dates a year and it is a bit more justifiable.

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The fact is that there is an upside for UC and the uptown businesses for the 17+ home games that an MLS team would play at Nippert each season.  It's a cool thing for UC to promote to prospective students.  The stadium needs virtually zero modification whereas an all-new stadium would surely cost at least $50 million. 

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^ I agree that Nippert would be the preferable venue because infrastructure is already in place and it is a good historic venue that serves the needs well without a huge capital outlay. That being said, if we need to get a new venue to earn an MLS team, then so be it, and If that is the case, there is really no better area in the city than behind district 1. Heck the police presence would already be there to help game day traffic

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They just need to have him attend a match at Nippert to see what the atmosphere is like.  It's one thing to walk around an impressive but empty stadium, and another to be there when the fans are going crazy.  Also, the traffic/parking situation around UC on gameday isn't helping things.  I'm not sure if there's a fix for that or not, though.

 

Actually the traffic situation is very good. Went to mapfre for the USA Mexico game last month and there it is horrible. My friend said it's usually bad there but this was extra bad, took 1hr 15min just to get out of the parking lot. I can usually get out of an FCC game and home in 30-40 min tops.

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I was thinking about where a good spot for a stadium and I keep coming back to the public school stadium they have behind district 1. The land is there and additional could be acquired quickly. The city or school board owns the land for the stadium which would make it easy to construct. They should be for this idea because there could be a provision to allow the local HS to continue using that new facility rent free on Friday's and many Saturdays in the fall (which wont conflict with soccer games) and gives the stadium additional use.

 

IT would be a great location for the team because it would connect it to OTR and help develop other areas of the West End easily. you would have the parking garage and some infrastructure from Music Hall nearby. Washington Park is a 3 minute walk from there, and for the most part, there is already good highway access. It would make it easy to go to the OTR bars and reatrauants after the games too and provide a nice addition to the urban fabric.

 

This is where the Cincinnati Saints played 2 years ago. The view of downtown from there is great and you can regularly smell the brewing at Sam Adams.

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They just need to have him attend a match at Nippert to see what the atmosphere is like.  It's one thing to walk around an impressive but empty stadium, and another to be there when the fans are going crazy.  Also, the traffic/parking situation around UC on gameday isn't helping things.  I'm not sure if there's a fix for that or not, though.

 

Oh, there's a fix - what you do is park over near Mecklenburg Gardens where parking is ample especially if you arrive early... say around 2-3 pm for a 7 pm match. Good food, great beer, plenty of awesome people. Then you march to the stadium, take in the game with 17,000 friends, and walk back hungover and exhausted and hey, right back at your car with easy access and no traffic!

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I don't think the traffic situation is actually that bad, but in any case the traffic flow around UC will be much improved in the coming months once the two MLK projects (Hopple exchange at 75, and the new exchange at 71) are completed, making it faster to access both 75 and 71 from the north side of campus.

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If Nippert proves not to be a viable option for the long term in order to get an MLS team, where should a new stadium go?

 

As mentioned about, where the old Cincinnati Saints soccer used to play in the West End. Obviously that old stadium would be demolished and the land would be cleared for a MLS specific stadium.

 

It's a no brainer imo due to the proximity of it being literally a few minutes from OTR.

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