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FC Cincinnati releases potential plan for West End soccer stadium site

 

WCPO_fc_cincinnati_west_end_conceptual_design_1524592842801_84793780_ver1.0_640_480.jpg

 

FC Cincinnati has released a potential stadium design diagram showing how its soccer stadium that could be as big as 28,080 seats will fit in the West End.

 

The diagram shows a potential stadium bowl design for the facility to be built just north of Robert A. Taft Information Technology High School on the current site of Willard Stargel Stadium.

 

The conceptual stadium site diagram shows a setup for 21,080 seats, which is more than the 21,000 minimum required by Major League Soccer. It also includes provisions to add 7,000 seats, potentially taking the capacity up to 28,080. The seating area could be expanded by adding upper-level seats in four areas:

 

*Two corners of the stadium

*An area behind one of the goals

*An area along one of the sidelines above the press box. 

 

More below:

https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2018/04/24/fc-cincinnati-releases-potential-plan-for-west-end.html


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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Site plan looks decent.... except for the wall of parking blocking the stadium from the actual West End neighborhood where it is located.

 

The way this site is set up, the stadium will feel like it is in OTR despite the fact it is physically in West End.

But it's a minor flaw and this is an early preliminary plan, hopefully that parking will end up underground and infill will be built facing John St.

 

 

Also, I 100% agree with Robuu that it'd be awesome if they could save the buildings on Central (or the facades at least).

In particular saving the blue and white bldg. that appears to have been a movie theater in the past would be amazing, they don't build anything that ornate anymore.

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hopefully that parking will end up underground and infill will be built facing John St.

 

I think we'll see a surface lot along John St. but then the Cincinnati Ballet building torn down and the stadium parking garage will go there along with new development. 

 

The big Tri-State Wholesalers warehouse looks like the floor plates are much too big for it to be converted into apartments without it being partially demolished into a "U" shape.  So we might see that demolished as well. 

 

 

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hopefully that parking will end up underground and infill will be built facing John St.

 

I think we'll see a surface lot along John St. but then the Cincinnati Ballet building torn down and the stadium parking garage will go there along with new development. 

 

The big Tri-State Wholesalers warehouse looks like the floor plates are much too big for it to be converted into apartments without it being partially demolished into a "U" shape.  So we might see that demolished as well. 

Does Tri-State use all of the floors of that warehouse? I wonder if it'd be cost-effective to convert some or all of the tri-state wholesalers building into a parking garage? By putting the garages on separate blocks away from the stadium, it will will minimize the monolithic nature of the stadium, allowing it to integrate better with the surrounding streets. Ideally, any new garages would be partially/fully underground (like Washington Park / Ziegler) and/or wrapped with new construction (like the Mercer garage)

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^Interesting, I hadn't thought of that, but I have no idea if that building is suited to a parking conversion.  It is probably strong enough but the pillars might be placed too close together.  Ramps could be built outside of the existing structure, at least in theory. 

 

I'll offer this conspiracy theory -- an underground parking garage will be built beneath the grandstands abutting Central Parkway measuring 800x200 feet per deck.  How will that garage be accessed?  Via convenient ramps in Central Parkway's median, which will once and for all obstruct the subway tunnels. 

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The schematic plan says the field (labeled "pitch" for the same reasons people use words like "towne" and "centre") is to be 14'-0" below the "concourse" - I wonder if they're going for a Nippert Stadium feel, where the playing surface is below the surrounding terrain. It seems odd to put that on a plan, prominently, unless it's a key feature. If the field is planned to be at ground level, they'd probably label the concourse as 14'-0" above the field, instead of labeling the field as 14'-0" below the concourse.

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I'll offer this conspiracy theory -- an underground parking garage will be built beneath the grandstands abutting Central Parkway measuring 800x200 feet per deck.  How will that garage be accessed?  Via convenient ramps in Central Parkway's median, which will once and for all obstruct the subway tunnels. 

 

I think that's a very long reach.  Not only would the tunnels have to be completely cut/dug out, traffic engineers absolutely hate (for good reason) left entrance/exit ramps.  To do something like the Wacker Drive ramps in Chicago would not only be logistically and aesthetically undesirable, but also very expensive.  I think the presence of the subway tunnels actually makes it less likely.

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The schematic plan says the field (labeled "pitch" for the same reasons people use words like "towne" and "centre") is to be 14'-0" below the "concourse" - I wonder if they're going for a Nippert Stadium feel, where the playing surface is below the surrounding terrain. It seems odd to put that on a plan, prominently, unless it's a key feature. If the field is planned to be at ground level, they'd probably label the concourse as 14'-0" above the field, instead of labeling the field as 14'-0" below the concourse.

 

Well the grade does drop as you head west from Central Parkway.  It's pretty gradual yes, but it makes for some interesting access and terracing possibilities. 

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The schematic plan says the field (labeled "pitch" for the same reasons people use words like "towne" and "centre") is to be 14'-0" below the "concourse" - I wonder if they're going for a Nippert Stadium feel, where the playing surface is below the surrounding terrain. It seems odd to put that on a plan, prominently, unless it's a key feature. If the field is planned to be at ground level, they'd probably label the concourse as 14'-0" above the field, instead of labeling the field as 14'-0" below the concourse.

 

Where Liberty crosses Central Parkway you can see how the land must have been built-up in the early 1800s in order to enable the canal to pass through this area.  So there is a natural slope to the building site, which means the field will be significantly lower than the Central Parkway concourse level.   

 

 

 

I think that's a very long reach.  Not only would the tunnels have to be completely cut/dug out, traffic engineers absolutely hate (for good reason) left entrance/exit ramps. 

 

These people *REALLY* hate public transportation, and they *REALLY* hate the subway. 

 

Remember, the subway was killed off in large part because it would have made all of Central Parkway as accessible to the metro as Fountain Square.  So within 10-15 years of its opening the Fountain Square area would have lost its supremacy as the center of the city and CENTRAL Parkway would have become a significant competitor, if not the new and permanent center of the city. 

 

The blue bloods are bringing investment to Central Parkway for the first time...ever.  It took 85 years but they are finally not turning their backs on it.  They're sure as hell not permitting any office buildings -- and after the new SCPA school, Kroger Apts, this stadium, and redevelopment of the City Hospital site (CET studios), there won't be much space left for a private land owner to sneak something past them.  They certainly won't be able to create a new office node to compete with their precious Queen City Square. 

 

 

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The schematic plan says the field (labeled "pitch" for the same reasons people use words like "towne" and "centre") is to be 14'-0" below the "concourse" - I wonder if they're going for a Nippert Stadium feel, where the playing surface is below the surrounding terrain. It seems odd to put that on a plan, prominently, unless it's a key feature. If the field is planned to be at ground level, they'd probably label the concourse as 14'-0" above the field, instead of labeling the field as 14'-0" below the concourse.

Well the grade does drop as you head west from Central Parkway.  It's pretty gradual yes, but it makes for some interesting access and terracing possibilities. 

That's a good point. Here's the elevation at each of the corners of the site. There's roughly a 20' drop from the NE corner to the SW corner. I suspect they will build the field at/near the elevation of the SW corner... which would allow the concourse to be at/near the elevation of Central Parkway.

Northwest corner (John/Wade): 531.55'

Southwest corner (John/Genessee): 524'

Southeast corner (Central Parkway): 542'

Northeast corner: (Central Parkway and Wade):544'

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I think the plan was always going to be to build the stadium field down into the ground, that way the top of the stadium doesn't go up as high.  Building it 14' below concourse level takes the roof down one story.  Will definitely be interested to see what they do with service/parking area.  Can they really fit 750 spots there?  Even just making it one or two levels underground would be better then a giant surface lot.  Berding has also said they'd add some green space to make the separation between homes and stadium at John St. seem better.  I'd also like to hear an explanation for why the seating bowl doesn't wrap all the way around.  Those two gaps seem dumb but I assume they serve some purpose. 

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These people *REALLY* hate public transportation, and they *REALLY* hate the subway. 

 

Remember, the subway was killed off in large part because it would have made all of Central Parkway as accessible to the metro as Fountain Square.  So within 10-15 years of its opening the Fountain Square area would have lost its supremacy as the center of the city and CENTRAL Parkway would have become a significant competitor, if not the new and permanent center of the city. 

 

The blue bloods are bringing investment to Central Parkway for the first time...ever.  It took 85 years but they are finally not turning their backs on it.  They're sure as hell not permitting any office buildings -- and after the new SCPA school, Kroger Apts, this stadium, and redevelopment of the City Hospital site (CET studios), there won't be much space left for a private land owner to sneak something past them.  They certainly won't be able to create a new office node to compete with their precious Queen City Square.

 

Wow, that's really conspiratorial. What evidence do you have that the demise of the subway had anything to do with concerns that Fountain Square would suffer? If the "blue bloods" are adamently against the success of Central Parkway then why is Kroger's HQ there? Built all the way back in 1954? And why would Kroger build a brand new store and apartments there? If the "blue bloods" were so concerned about Fountain Square remaining the center of the city wouldn't they be investing in apartments around there instead of throughout the CBD and OTR? Your theory seems to have a lot of holes.

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Wow, that's really conspiratorial. What evidence do you have that the demise of the subway had anything to do with concerns that Fountain Square would suffer? If the "blue bloods" are adamently against the success of Central Parkway then why is Kroger's HQ there? Built all the way back in 1954? And why would Kroger build a brand new store and apartments there? If the "blue bloods" were so concerned about Fountain Square remaining the center of the city wouldn't they be investing in apartments around there instead of throughout the CBD and OTR? Your theory seems to have a lot of holes.

 

Kroger owned the land where their tower now stands dating back to the 1800s.  It was built in the mid-1950s before freeway plans were solidified and any construction had begun.  It was assumed that Central Parkway would get direct access to and from the Millcreek Expressway (I-75) and the planned Northeast Expressway (I-71).  It's no accident that Central Parkway was instead completely cut off from the freeway network and the cross-town "distributor" was built on the riverfront, not in place of Central Parkway or Liberty St.  In Zane Miller's late 1990s Over-the-Rhine book, he speculates that at the same time Over-the-Rhine was left to decline on purpose, rather than being preserved in amber (there was a push to create a draconian French Quarter-type historic protection), in order to devalue the north half of Downtown Cincinnati. 

 

Class A office space pays the highest return for capital invested.  An office tower can go up profoundly in value if high-dollar long-term leases are in place.  An apartment tower usually can't skyrocket in value in the same way, and construction of a condo tower is something different entirely.  The location of Class A office is controlled with height limits.  Limits were instituted in Cincinnati in the 1960s AFTER the rogue Kroger tower went up on Central Parkway.  But height limits are just paper -- a freeway or subway would always create pressure for those limits to be changed. 

 

 

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I think the plan was always going to be to build the stadium field down into the ground, that way the top of the stadium doesn't go up as high.  Building it 14' below concourse level takes the roof down one story.  Will definitely be interested to see what they do with service/parking area.  Can they really fit 750 spots there?  Even just making it one or two levels underground would be better then a giant surface lot.  Berding has also said they'd add some green space to make the separation between homes and stadium at John St. seem better.  I'd also like to hear an explanation for why the seating bowl doesn't wrap all the way around.  Those two gaps seem dumb but I assume they serve some purpose. 

 

Regarding parking, 750 spots of surface parking would take ~5 acres of land. The highest density of parking is ~160/acre (single-way traffic lanes, angled parking spots). Fortunately, there won't be 4 or 5 acres of free space nearby, so they will have to build structured parking. For reference purposes: the current Stargel Stadium is ~6.5 acres. The CPD surface parking lot just north of 14th St is 1.5 acres and has ~180 spots, so roughly 120 spots/acre.

 

Here's a document that talks about density of parking spots per acre in surface parking: https://ag.tennessee.edu/cpa/Information%20Sheets/CPA%20222.pdf

 

For structured parking garages, the numbers are a bit different: a 5-story garage with 30,000 sq ft footprint (150,000 sq ft total) could have ~380 spaces and would cost $8.5 million: https://www.parking.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/TPP-2013-12-Urban-Parking-as-Economic-Solution.pdf

 

So, to get 750 spots, they'd need two 5-story garages with footprints of ~30,000 sq ft. Obviously, these are rough numbers... but that gives a sense of the scale needed to park 750 cars.

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I thought there were some old brewery/beer tunnels under this site, does anyone know?  I haven't heard any mention of them, hope that doesn't mean that it is ok to destroy them. It would be a shame to lose them, same goes for the last remnants of the old Windisch  Muhlhauser/ Lion/ Burger Brewery foundation.

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The A&D Parkhaus garage at Sycamore and Reading has 690 spaces, and it's six levels but with some retail space on the ground floor, so that's a pretty comparable scale for an above-ground structure. 

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The A&D Parkhaus garage at Sycamore and Reading has 690 spaces, and it's six levels but with some retail space on the ground floor, so that's a pretty comparable scale for an above-ground structure. 

That's a good reference point. 6-stories with 43,500 sq ft footprint = 260,000 total sq ft. With 690 spaces, that's roughly 380 sq ft per space, which is pretty typical for garages.

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So, to get 750 spots, they'd need two 5-story garages with footprints of ~30,000 sq ft. Obviously, these are rough numbers... but that gives a sense of the scale needed to park 750 cars.

 

Also, most of District 1's parking lot is going to be taken, which holds about 150 cars.  So some of the new structured parking will be needed for police officers. 

 

I anticipate that the surface parking along John St. will be reserved for VIP's, players, staff, media, etc., because they won't want to introduce a huge amount of traffic to that street. 

 

Unfortunately it looks like the lagering tunnels are in danger of being destroyed since doing a big development on the Cincinnati Ballet block makes a lot of sense now.  A garage in that location would enable traffic to enter/exit off of Liberty St.  and Central Parkway. 

 

 

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The ballet is going to have to find and move to a new location before any work could be performed on their block.  Not sure where they'd find that large of a space (or bigger) in that area but it certainly won't be a super quick process. 

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The ballet is going to have to find and move to a new location before any work could be performed on their block.  Not sure where they'd find that large of a space (or bigger) in that area but it certainly won't be a super quick process. 

Yeah... they've been looking since last summer. Not sure if they've made any progress: https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2017/08/29/cincinnati-ballet-hunting-for-new-larger-facility.html

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Does the ballet need to be in that area? Obviously it's good to be close to Music Hall, but do they really need to be close? It's mostly where they practice and build props/sets, right?

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Plenty of surface lots across downtown if they wanted to build from scratch.  Finding an existing building to fit their needs would be tougher. 

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Does the ballet need to be in that area? Obviously it's good to be close to Music Hall, but do they really need to be close? It's mostly where they practice and build props/sets, right?

They said they'd like to be somewhere close to the Aronoff and/or Music Hall, since those are their two performance venues.

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Kinda outside-the-box, but I wonder if the Terrace Plaza building isn't too narrow for the ballet to use. It's just about a block from the Aronoff.

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Kinda outside-the-box, but I wonder if the Terrace Plaza building isn't too narrow for the ballet to use. It's just about a block from the Aronoff.

 

There was some talk about the Ballet's move last summer over at this thread... the Ballet still has 5 years on their lease and hadn't begun fundraising as of last summer.

 

Cincinnati Ballet hunting for new, larger facility

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Wow, that's really conspiratorial. What evidence do you have that the demise of the subway had anything to do with concerns that Fountain Square would suffer? If the "blue bloods" are adamently against the success of Central Parkway then why is Kroger's HQ there? Built all the way back in 1954? And why would Kroger build a brand new store and apartments there? If the "blue bloods" were so concerned about Fountain Square remaining the center of the city wouldn't they be investing in apartments around there instead of throughout the CBD and OTR? Your theory seems to have a lot of holes.

 

Kroger owned the land where their tower now stands dating back to the 1800s.  It was built in the mid-1950s before freeway plans were solidified and any construction had begun.  It was assumed that Central Parkway would get direct access to and from the Millcreek Expressway (I-75) and the planned Northeast Expressway (I-71).  It's no accident that Central Parkway was instead completely cut off from the freeway network and the cross-town "distributor" was built on the riverfront, not in place of Central Parkway or Liberty St.  In Zane Miller's late 1990s Over-the-Rhine book, he speculates that at the same time Over-the-Rhine was left to decline on purpose, rather than being preserved in amber (there was a push to create a draconian French Quarter-type historic protection), in order to devalue the north half of Downtown Cincinnati. 

 

Class A office space pays the highest return for capital invested.  An office tower can go up profoundly in value if high-dollar long-term leases are in place.  An apartment tower usually can't skyrocket in value in the same way, and construction of a condo tower is something different entirely.  The location of Class A office is controlled with height limits.  Limits were instituted in Cincinnati in the 1960s AFTER the rogue Kroger tower went up on Central Parkway.  But height limits are just paper -- a freeway or subway would always create pressure for those limits to be changed.

 

Interesting history, I appreciate it! But I still don't get how the subway would've hurt Fountain Square's office district. First, a Fountain Square station was planned for it, no? Second, even if it completely bypassed the square it makes it easy for folks to get downtown and they can easily walk a couple of blocks. If anything, it would expand the office district, but not kill the lower CBD by any means. The completion and subsequent expansions of subways in other cities didn't make their traditional office centers less important. Instead, they made them MORE valuable.

 

And yes Class A office space pays the highest return by far, but no one wants to work in an office ghetto. That's why office space in OTR is at a premium right now and the CBD has vacant office buildings scattered throughout. Granted, they probably didn't think of this 100 years ago, but in 2018 it is obvious that if the city elite want the office space in the CBD to remain valuable we need to encourage a ton of residential development throughout the basin, including in the lower CBD.

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Fountain Square is nearly a half mile, or a 10 minute walk from Central Parkway.  Back in the days of the original streetcar system, the citizenry was outraged at a plan to move the downtown leg of some routes from 5th Street to 4th Street to alleviate congestion around Fountain Square.  People are no better today.  So yeah I can see how a Central Parkway and Walnut terminus would be worrisome to the movers and shakers of the time. 

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The ballet is going to have to find and move to a new location before any work could be performed on their block.  Not sure where they'd find that large of a space (or bigger) in that area but it certainly won't be a super quick process. 

 

Earlier the idea being kicked around  was the ballet would move into the current Cincinnati Public Library north building since it seemed to meet their requirements from the linked article.

 

Not sure if that is going anywhere or not.

 

 

To tie it back to the FC Stadium proposal, the topic of this thread, it seems like tearing down the modern parts of Cincy ballet's current site for a parking garage would make a lot more sense than putting it on John St. (aside from the amazing mid-centry modern structure right on the corner). IMO this would be a lot smarter because you'd have access to Liberty St. and Central, and minimize the amount of cars in neighborhoods or pedestrian areas... it'd virtually eliminate traffic from people coming to a FC match from the north at the 15th St. crosswalk people would use to go to the streetcar. The remaining sections of the current building could be remodeled.

 

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LAFC had their home opener over the weekend (and Berding and Lindner were there to see it). I'm curious how the FCC stadium design will be similar/different compared to the LAFC stadium. Both are similar size (LAFC is 22,000), but LAFC spent $350 million compared to the ~$200 million that FCC is planning to spend. I hope that doesn't mean our stadium will feel significantly cheaper and less well made. The LAFC canopy has some gaps in the corners, which might be how FCC handles the corner gaps as well. I don't think the LAFC is "expandable" the way FCC plans to make theirs.

 

One specific aspect of LAFC's stadium that interests me is their seating bowl angle of 34 degrees, which they claim is the steepest in the MLS. I'd love to see FCC try to beat that, because the steeper the bowl, the more compact the stadium is and the closer fans are to the field. Anybody know what the seating bowl angle is at Nippert (might be hard to have just a single angle, since different parts of Nippert have such different angles).

 

 

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In general I see why the steep bowl angle would be good, but it can also be dangerous, especially when alcohol is involved. There have been some serious falls at Rupp Arena in the upper bowl which is ridiculously steep, like a 45 degree angle. The new Bailey should be flatter, since it's where the rowdiest fans reside, but the rest could be steeper.

 

And as Brutus said, I'm sure a big price difference is LA land, labor, and material costs.

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The new Bailey should be flatter, since it's where the rowdiest fans reside, but the rest could be steeper.

Really? I understand your point about safety, but I think the Bailey is where it's MOST important for it to be steep. If designed appropriately as a safe-standing section (like Orlando's stadium), you can make it steep and safely ensure people won't fall down.

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-4286546/Orlando-City-open-stadium-safe-standing-flares.html

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That's actually pretty cool, I've never been to a stadium with the guardrails in a standing only section. I was picturing more the "eRupption zone" at Kentucky. No seats, no guardrails, just packed with standing students. If that wasn't flat it would be a nightmare, but what Orlando has done looks like a good idea.

 

Does anyone know, or think, the translucent material will still be incorporated or was that a primarily Newport/Riverfront idea? Now that it's in an urban neighborhood does that design still make sense? It's hard to tell on the released site plan if that shape and material is still being depicted.

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Crazy.  Cranley now hyping West End concert venue in conjunction with FC Cincinnati stadium:

https://www.wcpo.com/news/insider/if-promowest-loses-bid-for-concert-venue-at-the-banks-it-may-partner-with-fc-cincinnati-in-west-end

 

Mapfre has a stage built permanently into one end zone for Rock on the Range.  Or maybe they're planning to build where the ballet is now.  Or maybe this is just hot air to try and pressure people into throwing money at this company to build on the riverfront. 

 

 

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All of a sudden, the neighborhood concerns about noise impacts seem a lot more justified. I wonder if Berding told the community about the possibility of a concert venue being included with the stadium deal.

 

I think a concert venue makes sense on the riverfront, but the west end? I guess the devil is in the details, and we won't see the details until the thing is already under construction, if Berding and Co. stick to their usual mode of operating.

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They're not even asking for money.  Cranley is just trying to convince the banks steering committee to pick the clear best option and not the one from the hometown company.  Picking the CSO would be the most Cincinnati thing ever by those bunch of good old boys (and girls since Katie Blackburn is on the committee).

 

PromoWest has wanted to build something here for years.  It was their idea in the first place to put a music venue at the banks, but the committee of course had to make this a much longer and tedious process.  They clearly want to be at the banks as it's the best location but they're now saying if they don't win the banks bid they'll just build somewhere else.  I'm guessing they know that they'll run a far superior venue then the CSO so they think they'll get better acts no matter where their venue is.  Hopefully it gets the committee, city and county to realize they are by far the best option for the banks.

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Maybe I'm over interpreting, but Cunningham said yesterday that the new round of West End objections has got MLS stopped as to this site. He didn't actually say "dead in the water" but that was the sentiment.

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That would go against everything else that's being said. MLS still needs to visit the site apparently. But Taylor Twellerman, a major ESPN soccer reporter, stated over the weekend he expected Cincinnati to be invited in the next 2 weeks and the GM of the Seattle Sounders slipped up in an interview from last night saying something along the lines of "another team will be added very shortly."

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Bill Cunningham doesn't know anything about anything

 

Actually, he is more connected than anyone you know or could talk to. I don't like him either, but he is ultimately connected.

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Bill Cunningham doesn't know anything about anything

 

Actually, he is more connected than anyone you know or could talk to. I don't like him either, but he is ultimately connected.

He's just a mouth piece for certain politicians.  He doesn't know anything about FC's MLS chances.  And there are people within the FC organization, Great American and KMK that I could talk to that would know anything way before him.  None of them know anything right now though besides they're just waiting to hear from MLS.  These are the same people who had been saying for months that it was West End or bust because MLS wouldn't allow Oakley and Lindner wouldn't allow Newport.  So I'll go ahead and trust them over the word of a radio jockey. 

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Bill Cunningham doesn't know anything about anything

 

Actually, he is more connected than anyone you know or could talk to. I don't like him either, but he is ultimately connected.

 

That's like saying Sean Hannity is a good source because he's "connected." Well yea, he is more connected than anyone I know. But you still can't believe anything he says on air.

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I'm not a fan of misaligned analogies to make a point. Sean Hannity has nothing to do with Hamilton County power and politics. The Cunninghams have everything to do with it. As I said, he is not my cup of tea, but some lawyer at KMK is not going to have a thousandth the information that Cunningham has. Politicians and community leaders grovel before him to be on his show which has more influence than all of the neighborhood groups that have ever weighed in on this FC issue.

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Is Bill Cunningham actually claiming on air that West End community activists have enough power to disrupt the FCC stadium proposal that has already been approved by CPS and City Council? If so, that has no basis in reality.

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It's in Cunningham's best interest (for entertainment value, if nothing else) to pit liberal urbanites who want a West End soccer stadium against liberal urbanites who want to defend against anything resembling "Gentrification." WLW doesn't have a dog in the fight, so the more brutal it is and the longer it lasts, the better. In this case, the homeless coalition type people fighting against the stadium don't have a leg to stand on, but WLW will give them a Soapbox because the in-fighting is entertaining.

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