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Cincinnati: West End: FC Cincinnati Stadium

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Futbol Club Cincinnati nearing finalization of stadium plans in Cincinnati?

 

https://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/soccer/fc-cincinnati/2017/11/08/oakley-community-council-votes-favor-fc-cincinnati-stadium/846783001/

 

FCC plans to announce stadium most likely at the Milacron/Fast Cab location in Oakley. They have a vote of support from Oakley CC and are putting up $300 Million dollars. It also appears they're not asking for money to build the stadium but maybe help with tax abetments. Oakley has always been an option and after the backlash they received from (some) fans about Newport they've been focusing on Cincinnati. The West End site is probably just too much to get it done. Of course, a lot of people will complain about Oakley and traffic and not being urban enough. But this is big news.

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Wow, that actually really is going to crush traffic in that area.  It's cool they are going to be able to do this but I was kind of hoping for Newport site, to give a bigger jolt to downtown and Newport area that really needs it.

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I am not sure how you execute this plan without some reconfiguration of that Ridge exit (or some other additional access to 71/Norwood Lateral).  I know there are modifications coming for the Ridge interchange in 2018.

 

Traffic is an absolute mess around there when Crossroads lets out on Sunday's and that's at most a few thousand people (I think?).

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Newport is a much better choice. Keep it downtown. If you cant do OTR, go to Ovation. Oakley will be a horrible choice and they will want a new stadium in 15 years. Problem is that the Lindners don't want anything to do with Kentucky

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Newport is a much better choice. Keep it downtown. If you cant do OTR, go to Ovation. Oakley will be a horrible choice and they will want a new stadium in 15 years. Problem is that the Lindners don't want anything to do with Kentucky

I agree that Newport would be better then Oakley but you're right it's clear the ownership groups wants to build in Cincy.  Why do you think Oakley would want a new stadium in 15 years?  Wherever they build they're now going to spend over 300 million on this stadium.  You do some normal upkeep and upgrades on it over the years and this stadium is going to last a long time.  Just look at Great American Ballpark.  It's been opened 15 years and still seems relatively new because the Castellini's have been keeping it updated over the years. 

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Newport, IMO, was the worst choice and has always been the backup plan. Oakley has traffic issues that will need to be fixed. But with Mad Tree and all the other bars along Madison Road they'll be great places to pre-game at and march in. Oakley was always my 2nd choice to the West End but it's a great location and I'm excited.

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Newport is the best choice. People who are saying “But that’s not Cincinnati” are giving in to kind of a knee jerk emotion.

 

West End/OTR is unworkable I think. The required large scale infrastructure is just out of step with the neighborhood.

 

I think developing a great atmosphere around an Oakley stadium is going to be a challenge.  Think about what MLS could be in 5-10 years. At that point you want the downtown infrastructure- hotels and restaurants- to be able to serve traveling fans. The skyline TV shots of Cincinnati would be attractive too.


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I am not sure how you execute this plan without some reconfiguration of that Ridge exit (or some other additional access to 71/Norwood Lateral).

 

 

Developers in that area want that stuff reconfigured.  Cranley-funded improvements, ostensibly for the stadium, will be giveaways to his cronies.  Look for multiple Castellini-Cinti State viaducts.   

 

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I'm a huge proponent of our brothers in Cincy getting a third professional team... However, I do think the timing is inconvenient.

 

The MLS does particularly well in spurts around the World Cup. Without US involvement this year, I am interested to see how the country turns to MLS. You've all proven that you can be a viable fan-base, but the climate for soccer in the country seems to be at a (temporary) plateau.

 

I would love to see the stadium go next to PBS in lieu of those warehouses and gravel lots where Bengals fans tailgate. However, I know that's not in the proposal right now, just saying.

 

This Clevelander is pulling for a thriving MLS market in Cincy.

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Newport is a much better choice. Keep it downtown. If you cant do OTR, go to Ovation. Oakley will be a horrible choice and they will want a new stadium in 15 years. Problem is that the Lindners don't want anything to do with Kentucky

I agree that Newport would be better then Oakley but you're right it's clear the ownership groups wants to build in Cincy.  Why do you think Oakley would want a new stadium in 15 years?  Wherever they build they're now going to spend over 300 million on this stadium.  You do some normal upkeep and upgrades on it over the years and this stadium is going to last a long time.  Just look at Great American Ballpark.  It's been opened 15 years and still seems relatively new because the Castellini's have been keeping it updated over the years. 

 

I think in 15 years there will be a push to get more to the city center and downtown. The nice thing about Oakely though is that it is walkable.

Newport is the best choice. People who are saying But thats not Cincinnati are giving in to kind of a knee jerk emotion.

 

West End/OTR is unworkable I think. The required large scale infrastructure is just out of step with the neighborhood.

 

I think developing a great atmosphere around an Oakley stadium is going to be a challenge.  Think about what MLS could be in 5-10 years. At that point you want the downtown infrastructure- hotels and restaurants- to be able to serve traveling fans. The skyline TV shots of Cincinnati would be attractive too.

 

Berding came out the other week and pretty much said the only reason why Ovation has not been finalized is that the ownership group is from Ohio and they want to exhaust every last effort to keep it in Ohio first and foremost.

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Obviously putting the stadium downtown would be preferable but there's just no room.  I still think they could squeeze it in next to the casino but that ship has seemingly sailed.  They really did not use that land very well around the casino.  There's a bunch of dead space that if reconfigured could easily fit a new soccer stadium or basketball arena. 

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I am not sure how you execute this plan without some reconfiguration of that Ridge exit (or some other additional access to 71/Norwood Lateral).

 

 

Developers in that area want that stuff reconfigured.  Cranley-funded improvements, ostensibly for the stadium, will be giveaways to his cronies.  Look for multiple Castellini-Cinti State viaducts.   

 

My first thought as well, and probably the biggest reason this didnt come out one or two days earlier as it played into one of the biggest complaints about him. This is the same area that the Mayor said, "beggars cant be choosers" when the developer he is friendly to changed from the original mixed residential walkable neighborhood proposal to a sea of parking and big box stores after approval. More of the same I'm afraid, but hopefully the land value increases to the point that the parking is repurposed into garages and the land better developed into what was originally promised. All profits going to his buddies of course but at least Oakley will be better of than the current situation there. Wasnt one of the complaints of the anti streetcar folk that it was just a ploy to increase the value of a house (houses) that Roxanne Qualls owned in OTR?

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I am not sure how you execute this plan without some reconfiguration of that Ridge exit (or some other additional access to 71/Norwood Lateral).

 

 

Developers in that area want that stuff reconfigured.  Cranley-funded improvements, ostensibly for the stadium, will be giveaways to his cronies.  Look for multiple Castellini-Cinti State viaducts.   

 

My first thought as well, and probably the biggest reason this didnt come out one or two days earlier as it played into one of the biggest complaints about him. This is the same area that the Mayor said, "beggars cant be choosers" when the developer he is friendly to changed from the original mixed residential walkable neighborhood proposal to a sea of parking and big box stores after approval. More of the same I'm afraid, but hopefully the land value increases to the point that the parking is repurposed into garages and the land better developed into what was originally promised. All profits going to his buddies of course but at least Oakley will be better of than the current situation there. Wasnt one of the complaints of the anti streetcar folk that it was just a ploy to increase the value of a house (houses) that Roxanne Qualls owned in OTR?

 

Roxanne is a realtor. It was the value of the properties listed with her.


“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

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The Oakley site's biggest flaw is the traffic cluster it will create as there are really only three ways to the site. This will be compounded by the fact that Crossroads already has a huge crowd for their Saturday night service.

 

Strangely bus access to the area is okay with two crosstown routes terminating there. The bad news is that it's a long bus ride and they'll get stuck in the same game day traffic as everyone else.


“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

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Maybe the stadium will be the impetus for tearing down the big box stores and replacing them with mixed used, walkable development over time. You know, how it should've been built in the first place.

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I'm a huge proponent of our brothers in Cincy getting a third professional team... However, I do think the timing is inconvenient.

 

The MLS does particularly well in spurts around the World Cup. Without US involvement this year, I am interested to see how the country turns to MLS. You've all proven that you can be a viable fan-base, but the climate for soccer in the country seems to be at a (temporary) plateau.

 

Another point of view....Cincy is proof that their support for soccer goes well beyond MLS. Even if MLS ultimately fails there still exists a demand for professional teams. FCC can last as long as the good folks of the city (and Newport, I hope lol) want them to. 

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Does anyone else think that a FCC stadium could potentially provide enough fuel to the fire to potentially create a more condense big box site, but that's more urban to the akin of something you would see in Brooklyn/NYC?

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Does anyone else think that a FCC stadium could potentially provide enough fuel to the fire to potentially create a more condense big box site, but that's more urban to the akin of something you would see in Brooklyn/NYC?

 

With a decent Mayor and Council... yes. With this current crop... no faith.

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https://www.google.com/maps/@39.1565202,-84.4390505,795m/data=!3m1!1e3

 

We'll likely see a solidification of the rumored plan to build an access road along the east side of I-71 extending Edwards first to Robertson and then either over or under the B&O tracks to the Oakley Station site. 

 

The other, and possibly quite destructive option, would be a connection between Norwood's Park Ave. and so-called Vandercaar Way.  This would require demolition of the historic Cincinnati Playing Card building and a new bridge over I-71. 

 

https://www.google.com/maps/@39.1611581,-84.4362395,1589m/data=!3m1!1e3

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All of this money and infrastructure just to support a stadium that MIGHT get the FC in the MLS seems so incredibly stupid. FCC games are already a ton of fun, and their crowds help provide business to the places around UC that could definitely use the business bump in the summer months when the kids aren't there. The parking already exists, and fans seem to really love Nippert.

 

My question, then, is why the hell are we building yet another stadium to try to get to MLS? What benefit does the MLS bring? Cincinnati is already a major league city, and has been for years. We don't 'need' an MLS team in the way that a city like Columbus does to prove that we are a big league town. Furthermore, I don't think the presence of the MLS does much at all to advance the recognition of the city on a national stage- people simply don't care about it like they do NFL, NBA, or MLB.

 

We could potentially be squandering a redevelopment site that could house and/or employ tons of people so we can build a stadium and parking facilities that will be used a handful of times per year. We're introducing extreme traffic into one of the City's most desirable parts of town, and placing a stadium in a location where there could be very little spin off development. All for what? To feed the egos of the Lindners and other team owners? To help placate an inferiority complex of Cincinnatians who are desperate for external validation that their city is big and important? I genuinely don't get it.

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All of this money and infrastructure just to support a stadium that MIGHT get the FC in the MLS seems so incredibly stupid. FCC games are already a ton of fun, and their crowds help provide business to the places around UC that could definitely use the business bump in the summer months when the kids aren't there. The parking already exists, and fans seem to really love Nippert.

 

My question, then, is why the hell are we building yet another stadium to try to get to MLS? What benefit does the MLS bring? Cincinnati is already a major league city, and has been for years. We don't 'need' an MLS team in the way that a city like Columbus does to prove that we are a big league town. Furthermore, I don't think the presence of the MLS does much at all to advance the recognition of the city on a national stage- people simply don't care about it like they do NFL, NBA, or MLB.

 

We could potentially be squandering a redevelopment site that could house and/or employ tons of people so we can build a stadium and parking facilities that will be used a handful of times per year. We're introducing extreme traffic into one of the City's most desirable parts of town, and placing a stadium in a location where there could be very little spin off development. All for what? To feed the egos of the Lindners and other team owners? To help placate an inferiority complex of Cincinnatians who are desperate for external validation that their city is big and important? I genuinely don't get it.

 

Fans want to see top level play and top international players from around the world playing for FCC. You will never have that by staying in the usl. The usl is very much akin to AAA baseball team. It's lower level of play and the young players that do succeed leave for the mls.

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All of this money and infrastructure just to support a stadium that MIGHT get the FC in the MLS seems so incredibly stupid.

 

If MLS doesn't award a bid to Cincinnati, this stadium won't be built.

 

We could potentially be squandering a redevelopment site that could house and/or employ tons of people

 

Take a look at the current development and the leadership who brought that forward. It's the same leadership after Tuesday's election. We're not missing out. I'll roll the dice with a stadium (should MLS award a bid) rather than making room for a Chili's, Applebee's, Buffalo Wings and Things, etc.

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It's also of note that Jeff Berding said that it won't be just a stadium. Apparently they will also be developing the site next to the stadium as well for mixed use development. I'm guessing something along the lines of a mini banks with restaurants, bars, maybe a hotel, etc.

 

This could be a huge win for Oakley in the long run. Yes, with our current administration nothing will change with Oakley. But what about 20-30 years down the road? (I'll be 40-50 years old at that point.) Perhaps a stadium, with an urban mixed use development site next to the stadium could be a nice blueprint for the future of oakley...and maybe, just maybe, FCC can create a cataylst for a revision of Oakley. Again, not now, maybe not 10 years from now, but definitely maybe in my future, and for the millenials of cincinnati like me.

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I won't go to any soccer games in Oakley.  I could  take the bus or even walk to the Nippert games and loved the atmosphere. I'm kindof a borderline fan anyway, and I'm only going to events that are within bike or walk range.  It was fun while it lasted.

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I won't go to any soccer games in Oakley.  I could  take the bus or even walk to the Nippert games and loved the atmosphere. I'm kindof a borderline fan anyway, and I'm only going to events that are within bike or walk range.  It was fun while it lasted.

 

Interesting take. I wonder what percentage of fans will be willing to pay MLS ticket prices?

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I am coming around to Oakley some. While I prefer Newport, there is better infrastructure in Oakley with the bars and character and will have the closest feel to Nippert from the beginning as opposed to Newport which would take time to develop

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I won't go to any soccer games in Oakley.  I could  take the bus or even walk to the Nippert games and loved the atmosphere. I'm kindof a borderline fan anyway, and I'm only going to events that are within bike or walk range.  It was fun while it lasted.

 

You could still bike or bus to Oakley? Rt. 11 runs on Madison and the other branch will also serve the new transit center. Also, two crosstown routes will serve that center. Madison's also a fairly good road to ride on. Not sure where your commuting from though.

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Oakley certainly does not have the volume of bars / restaurants as the Uptown area but to be fair there is MadTree, Oak Tavern, Oakley Pub, Habits, RP McMurphy's, Animations, The E and a few chain places.

 

Additionally, Jeff Berding had indicated they want to activate the space around the stadium as a mixed use area so if everything comes together then there would be additional options around the stadium not just a parking lot.

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I won't go to any soccer games in Oakley.  I could  take the bus or even walk to the Nippert games and loved the atmosphere. I'm kindof a borderline fan anyway, and I'm only going to events that are within bike or walk range.  It was fun while it lasted.

 

You could still bike or bus to Oakley? Rt. 11 runs on Madison and the other branch will also serve the new transit center. Also, two crosstown routes will serve that center. Madison's also a fairly good road to ride on. Not sure where your commuting from though.

 

Yeah but its still so much farther away via transit. To Madtree is about a half hour on the Rt. 11. If you are coming from Westwood or Northside via either Rt. 41 or 51 its basically riding almost the entirety of those lines across town.


“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

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Are we going to march from the IHOP, Target, Meijer's or Sam's Club?

 

Olive Garden!

 

Yeah but its still so much farther away via transit. To Madtree is about a half hour on the Rt. 11. If you are coming from Westwood or Northside via either Rt. 41 or 51 its basically riding almost the entirety of those lines across town.

 

This is very true.

 

My hope would be that maybe the stadium would be an impetus or encouraging factor to offer more frequent service or maybe some sort of revised route.

 

In an ideal world, I'd love to see Oakley Square closed off to only pedestrians and transit. Make it an open container zone so as the bars don't need to get over-crowded. Build a pedestrian bridge from 34th/Enyart to connect directly to the stadium.

 

Alas, it's all wishful thinking.

 

Oakley isn't my first choice either.

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Any connections to that site through to the rest of Oakley or Norwood will have the residents there up in arms. This is near the same area that had streets connecting to Edwards cut off because of Rookwood traffic.


“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

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Any connections to that site through to the rest of Oakley or Norwood will have the residents there up in arms. This is near the same area that had streets connecting to Edwards cut off because of Rookwood traffic.

Yeah... connecting Oakley Square to the stadium will be tricky due to the nature of the neighborhood between Madison and Robertson.

 

North of Robertson, there is the 30-acre site owned by Oakley Yard LLC. Anybody know what that facility is used for? That land could be very valuable if integrated into a *properly designed* mixed use district. Most of the Oakley Yard site is single-story warehouse, so probably not worth saving... but there is a 4-story older building that I could imagine being re-purposed into condos/apartments. They would need to figure out where/how to cross the railroad tracks. 34th Ave seems like a natural place to have a crossing.

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Oakley certainly does not have the volume of bars / restaurants as the Uptown area but to be fair there is MadTree, Oak Tavern, Oakley Pub, Habits, RP McMurphy's, Animations, The E and a few chain places.

 

 

 

I vote for Slammer's.

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Somebody just reviewed it on the Goog 3 weeks ago complaining that they weren't allowed to take over the jukebox with 10 bucks.

 

People will drop $10 to play the entirety of Hillbilly Deluxe next but won't pay $10 to physically own Hillbilly Deluxe

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^Cranley says a deal is about to happen.  The BC thinks the Port Authority will own the site so construction is not taxed and TIFF can be used.  They also may try to raise the ticket or lodging tax.  The article doesn't say it, but Oakley is the likely location for several reasons, including that the developers in that area are donors to Cranley.

 

I think this is a huge mistake.  The location should be more urban.  Some people (Lindners, Cranley etc) just don't get it.

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To be fair mls has reviewed the Oakley site as part of the 3 site bidding that FCC has presented, and mls was fully okay with Oakley (mainly because of the close proximity to bars and millennials)

 

Also I'm not sure why we are so adamant in saying Oakley isn't urban. The area with Oakley square and the big box stores are probably only like 1/4th of all of Oakley. It's not the most urban neighborhood but it still has quite a bit of urban blood in its veins.

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It's not that I don't think Oakley wouldn't work well, it's this notion that we have serious issues to take care of and here we are going to give out some massive incentives to make Oakley work. I'm okay with it if other ppl are and there is a ton of benefits, it just irks me so bad that this whole freaking Metro melts down over $40 million in local tax dollars for a transformative project in the streetcar, but now Cranley goes and teams up with the richest family in Cincinnati to give away the best land in some of the most valuable real estate in the metro along with most likely massive infrastructure improvements from city dollars.

 

It just ticks me off but maybe some of you guys can talk me off the ledge.  It's just priorities, fellas.

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It's not that I don't think Oakley wouldn't work well, it's this notion that we have serious issues to take care of and here we are going to give out some massive incentives to make Oakley work. I'm okay with it if other ppl are and there is a ton of benefits, it just irks me so bad that this whole freaking Metro melts down over $40 million in local tax dollars for a transformative project in the streetcar, but now Cranley goes and teams up with the richest family in Cincinnati to give away the best land in some of the most valuable real estate in the metro along with most likely massive infrastructure improvements from city dollars.

 

It just ticks me off but maybe some of you guys can talk me off the ledge.  It's just priorities, fellas.

 

I definitely feel where you're coming from. I'm an ardent supporter of FC Cincinnati and I'd love to see a third major league team in the form of MLS, but I'm also bothered by the prioritizing. On one hand, I understand the urgency given the approaching expansion decision deadline. On the other hand, I have a hard time understanding how things like improved transit aren't more of a priority or why something like better buses hasn't received anywhere near the same attention over the years.

 

I also see the argument that we've offered similar incentives to corporations over the years and that maybe this deserves the same kind of incentive. It's a weird thing to wrestle with.

 

Even once this is all said and done, I don't see other priorities in the region garnering the same political enthusiasm.

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Thanks Gordon, I appreciate your response and understanding and it helps.

 

I think it would be different for me if we were moving forward with re-aligning metro and investing in some BRT and making better use overall of Metro.

 

You make a good point on the corporate entities. That is a good way to think about it and hopefully, if the Oakley plan comes through, they are able to use the TIF district to upgrade the area around for the better with mixed used development, so at least we get a lot of good benefits from the stadium and hopefully densify more the whole center of Cincinnati project.

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Does anyone know if the MLS application binds the team to actually following through with the plan outlined in their bid?

 

I'm still suspicious that the "practice facility search" was at least as much a primary stadium search, and that we could end up with the team somewhere in Hamilton County other than those locations that have been made public.  Cincinnati Gardens, Avon Fields golf course, etc. 

 

But unfortunately the Oakley site is a sloppy Cranley deal waiting to happen.  All of his cronies will get free infrastructure upgrades. 

 

Another thing to think about is that the infrastructure upgrades could be characterized in such a way as to "block" Norwood.  So prime I-71 frontage would be created on the Cincinnati side of the expressway but not directly opposite.  So it would be a little like the war between DT Cincinnati and Covington. 

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Does anyone know if the MLS application binds the team to actually following through with the plan outlined in their bid?

 

I'm not sure if they legally bind them, but it's my understanding that they're now wanting to make sure they have something firmly in place, in writing. Essentially, to get the best assurance they can get that the new expansion clubs are going to have the stadium plan they promised.

 

NYCFC (still stuck at Yankee Stadium on an abysmal pitch) and Miami (who knows anymore) are examples of why they don't want to move ahead with stadium plans on "good faith" alone.

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Does anyone know if the MLS application binds the team to actually following through with the plan outlined in their bid?

 

I'm still suspicious that the "practice facility search" was at least as much a primary stadium search, and that we could end up with the team somewhere in Hamilton County other than those locations that have been made public.  Cincinnati Gardens, Avon Fields golf course, etc. 

 

But unfortunately the Oakley site is a sloppy Cranley deal waiting to happen.  All of his cronies will get free infrastructure upgrades. 

 

Another thing to think about is that the infrastructure upgrades could be characterized in such a way as to "block" Norwood.  So prime I-71 frontage would be created on the Cincinnati side of the expressway but not directly opposite.  So it would be a little like the war between DT Cincinnati and Covington.

 

The bid site can change. It doesn't really matter. All MLS wants to see is a final stadium plan in place, and the financing situation all set in stone. That's all they really care about.

 

That's why the current speculation is that Oakley will be the, "announced" mls site, just until (assuming) they are awarded the bid. Then Berding will pivot and continue to work on the west end site.

 

From what I understand, the issue with the West End site is that parcels of land will need to be compiled that are currently owned by multiple owners. I'm also not sure if any of this land needed for the west end site is also going to cost demolition of any historic buildings either (and I'm sure the anti-gentrification crowd will up in arms in any case really)....Regardless, FCC would end up playing in 2020 (2021 at the latest). They obviously need the extra time it would take to collect all the property in order to make a west end site bid a reality. That's why the extra time would allow for that to happen, but since they have only till December to announce THE site, they will go with Oakley since everything is already nicely, "laid" out. There's only 1 property owner, versus multiple property owners with the west end.

 

Oakley is the site that will be submitted for mls expansion, but if chosen, they can easily choose a new site (whether it be Oakley, West End, Newport, or any other site for that matter) to build there stadium. They are not legally bound to only build the stadium where they applied to build the stadium. 

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Of course, if they win the expansion spot, they'll build the stadium in one of the 3 places. For months it's been about emailing the county commissioners, who seem to have ignored it all.  I guess the city will have plans with the port? It'll be interesting how the $100M comes around. I mean, it must be basically a done deal since Cranley is going to announce something this week.

 

Just to be clear, FCC would absolutely need to build a stadium to get the bid. Detroit just killed their bid by saying they can play at Ford Field. MLS cancelled a visit after that announcement. It's down to us and Nashville. Nashville has a stadium finance plan in place.

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