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Cincinnati: West End: FC Cincinnati Stadium

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^ I was referring to the finalists - San Diego dropped out a while back.

 

SD can still get the franchise. There are no finalists cities yet, just favorites, longshots and those in-between.

 

Favorites:

http://www.espnfc.com/major-league-soccer/19/blog/post/3265162/assessing-mls-expansion-candidates-the-frontrunners-and-favorites

 

Still in the hunt:

http://www.espnfc.com/major-league-soccer/19/blog/post/3265483/assessing-mls-expansion-candidates-cities-in-the-hunt-and-the-long-shots

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"Good Highway Access" is not much of an advantage for a 21,000-seat facility.  According to Wikipedia, the Lindner Tennis Center has a total capacity similar to the proposed soccer stadium:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lindner_Family_Tennis_Center

 

We have all seen the gigantic traffic back-ups on I-71 leading to and from that event.  A stadium that is in a real neighborhood and approachable from multiple directions doesn't have the same problem (i.e. the Cincinnati Gardens).  The 10,000+ crowds at Elder and St. Xavier football games disperse quickly, despite the lack of any road widenings or other special "infrastructure". 

 

The public giveaway to the wealthy involved in the Oakley scheme doesn't end with this initial infrastructure package.  The ink will dry and we'll see a repeat of the Kentucky Speedway strategy -- let the first events be characterized by chaos -- then come back to the public teat for the Edwards extension and probably more. 

 

 

 

 

 

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^ but there are a lot of people who live near Elder and St. Xavier who go to the games (I know st X students come from all over but there are many neighborhood people who go to the games too) FC Cincinnati is a regional draw and would need more efficient infrastructure.

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If you suggest that the stadium can't help motivate other types of investment if it were built on the west side, then you concede that it won't in Oakley.  In which case it doesn't matter where it is built and should be put in a place where it only requires $10 million in "infrastructure", not $75 million. 

 

Fact is that this thing *would* kick off a lot of investor interest in the long-beleaguered West End.  If the city is going to drop big public dollars, it should be in a place where it actually kick starts ancillary investment. 

 

With or without this stadium, Oakley is till "Oakley".  A bunch of massively overpriced "starter homes" for people whose parents gave them $50,000 wedding gifts.

 

West End makes more sense for several reasons and I hope their end goal is West End if thy get awarded a franchise and Oakley is the easy submission because it’s one property owner and that will buy time to acquire all the parcels needed in West End. And the environmental issues is interesting. I have a hard time believing there are zero issues with the Cast Fab sitewhen it was a foundry for decades.

 

Also...FWIW I own a home in Oakley, am under 30, worked and took out loans to get myself through college and paid for the majority of my own wedding.

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^ Don't let Jake's commentary on the East Side cloud his points. Although I do disagree with him on some issues, sometimes he let's his West Side bias shine through when he makes statements about certain East Side parts of town. That is not to take away from his overall premise, but I think his high school experience may have clouded his opinion of the East Side (the majority of them are not in fact trust fund babies)

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Count me among those who suspect potential and possibly extensive environmental cleanup costs for the Oakley site.  After all, it was an ironworks/foundry. 

 

I wonder who will end up paying the costs???

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The problem is someone comes along and takes the team away if its not in the core. You get to keep the team if you build a downtown stadium 12 years later for twice as much.

 

That is patently untrue and the situation In Columbus is apples and oranges. If you think the Crew are moving because of the lack of a downtown stadium in CBUS you are delusional. This is just a smokescreen to get them to move because the owner wanted to move them to Austin the day he bought the team. He has set the bar so high in Columbus that he knows the city will never meet what he wants so he can move the team. It is called negotiating in bad faith.

 

The difference between Cincy and CBUS is local ownership. All those families live in Cincy and will continue to live here. That makes a huge difference. What happens 25 years later, of course we cant predict that however, I have a lot more faith in the long term stability of the franchise when you have a local ownership group instead of a carpetbagger from California who does not know Columbus from Kalamazoo.

 

 

 

I'm not that familiar with other MLS teams that have moved, but obviously it has happened a few times since some of the original teams from 1996 have moved. Were there stadium issues? Lamar Hunt, the founding owner of the Crew was based out of Kansas City and owned the Chiefs. Mike Brown threatened to move the Bengals over the "ancient" Riverfront Stadium despite being local.

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Count me among those who suspect potential and possibly extensive environmental cleanup costs for the Oakley site.  After all, it was an ironworks/foundry. 

 

I wonder who will end up paying the costs???

 

Im telling you....THIS is the story no one is talking about. It's the real impetus behind Cranley having the Port develop the property and not FC itself. It opens the door to taxpayer funding of "cost overruns".

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A Phase 1 Environmental Assessment doesn't take all that long, does anyone know if it has been done or is underway now? That would at least give some idea of what type of remediation would be needed. Since no part of the building itself is going to be reused it might not be all that expensive a process.

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The problem is someone comes along and takes the team away if its not in the core. You get to keep the team if you build a downtown stadium 12 years later for twice as much.

 

That is patently untrue and the situation In Columbus is apples and oranges. If you think the Crew are moving because of the lack of a downtown stadium in CBUS you are delusional. This is just a smokescreen to get them to move because the owner wanted to move them to Austin the day he bought the team. He has set the bar so high in Columbus that he knows the city will never meet what he wants so he can move the team. It is called negotiating in bad faith.

 

The difference between Cincy and CBUS is local ownership. All those families live in Cincy and will continue to live here. That makes a huge difference. What happens 25 years later, of course we cant predict that however, I have a lot more faith in the long term stability of the franchise when you have a local ownership group instead of a carpetbagger from California who does not know Columbus from Kalamazoo.

 

 

 

I'm not that familiar with other MLS teams that have moved, but obviously it has happened a few times since some of the original teams from 1996 have moved. Were there stadium issues? Lamar Hunt, the founding owner of the Crew was based out of Kansas City and owned the Chiefs. Mike Brown threatened to move the Bengals over the "ancient" Riverfront Stadium despite being local.

 

So far only one MLS team has moved. The original San Jose Earthquakes (also known as "The Clash" once) went to Houston after having trouble building a stadium. Like the Browns -> Ravens move in the NFL, all of San Jose's history, logos, and records were put on hiatus and Houston was considered an expansion franchise although it received all of SJ's roster. A few years later, SJ returned with new owners and have been in the league ever since.

 

The Miami Fusion and Tampa Bay Mutiny were both contracted and dissolved with no relocation (although a new Miami franchise is working to get started via David Beckham and his original contract and a new Tampa Bay group is in the current expansion hunt). Chivas USA was also contracted and dissolved, but immediately replaced the next season with NYCFC. Chivas drew very, very poorly and wasn't well received as a "colony club." NYCFC isn't considered a relocation although they technically took Chivas' franchise slot.

 

The Crew situation has been very, very interesting. Anthony Precourt has apparently had Austin listed as the only allowed relocation location since purchasing the club in 2013. It seems to have been in his cards for awhile and MLS trademarked several Austin names recently (they don't own any other non-current MLS team trademarks and none of the potential expansion candidates). While it seems to have been planned for awhile, there was an article recently that other teams had reached out to Austin about moving if The Crew don't come through.

 

MLS is kind of at a crossroads, at first teams wanted soccer specific stadiums and would take them anywhere they could get them. Hence why the Chicago Fire play in the transit-less suburb of Bridgeview and draw poorly. The ones that got downtown stadiums in later years had much more success. As the new expansion candidates come in with great venues in great locations, other teams are going to get jealous. While soccer is typically more rooted in the community on the International landscape, there's still A TON of markets available in the US. I fear the Crew situation is the start of several teams who will at least look at maybe moving.

 

MLS teams will probably have NFL/MLB style relocation ambitions until the league is filled out and a true, strong 2nd Division has taken root in the major markets that didn't get MLS.

 

As MLS has grown and grown and grown, becoming more "major league" every year, they've also started to mimic some of the worst aspects of the other "major leagues." Now it's their turn to play the relocation game.

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The Mayor is making some last-minute tweaks to the proposed ordinance to appease the Oakley Community Council. Instead of using $2.5 million from the Oakley TIF district, it would now use $2.5 million from the city's 2019 capital budget.

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^ Time to just suck it up and go to Newport. THis is going to be a cluster to get through whereas Newport it would sail through.

 

I mean, that would be a better location, so, yeah.

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Jason Williams tweeted it has the votes to pass. If he's right we'll know shortly and assuming nothing changes before the final vote will be on Wednesday, off the bid will go to MLS. Then we'll wait and see if we can beat out Nashville or not.

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^ Time to just suck it up and go to Newport. THis is going to be a cluster to get through whereas Newport it would sail through.

 

I mean, that would be a better location, so, yeah.

 

I don't care where they go as long as we get the team.

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Charlie Hatch on Twitter:

 

"Berding just said FC Cincinnati can win the MLS expansion bid and still change its stadium location within the city limits."

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Yes this could be all for not...if they get the bid with the Oakley site then that will buy them a lot of time to assemble the necessary parcels in the West End which would require much less money for infrastructure as your not re-configuring anything about I-71 as you are with the Oakley site.

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The Oakley plan has passed in committee today and will go to full council on Wednesday for a final vote.

 

However, per Chris Wetterich:

 

Something has become very clear from council members’ comments today: Oakley could be a placeholder site. It’s something I’ve heard repeatedly off the record in the last few weeks.

 

Smitherman: “I’m going to support the plan. The plan may change at any second, but I’m in”

 

Flynn says he heard Berding say it may not be Oakley, it may be somewhere else.

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I am going to laugh my ass off when MLS pulls the rug out from underneath CLIII and Berding. The next two will go to Sacramento and Nashville. Too much fighting and dumb phone calls with the county commissioners. MLS board is going to say meh I dont wanna deal with them, next.

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I am going to laugh my ass off when MLS pulls the rug out from underneath CLIII and Berding. The next two will go to Sacramento and Nashville. Too much fighting and dumb phone calls with the county commissioners. MLS board is going to say meh I dont wanna deal with them, next.

Even if they don't get in this year there are two more spots they'd be front runners for.  Then you also factor in the very strong likelihood of the Crew leaving Columbus which would significantly increase the chances of FC getting an expansion bid. 

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^The issue with that, is that other larger markets will have a better chance of getting in in the future IMO. Some that MLS has been eyeing for a while (San Diego, Detroit, and Saint Louis in particular) haven't been able to get a good bid. Nashville is also highly likely for this expansion or the next. Cincinnati's best odds of getting in are if we can get a stadium plan in this round.

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I am going to laugh my ass off when MLS pulls the rug out from underneath CLIII and Berding. The next two will go to Sacramento and Nashville. Too much fighting and dumb phone calls with the county commissioners. MLS board is going to say meh I dont wanna deal with them, next.

 

The problem with the Sacremento bid is that there are already 2 MLS teams in LA, and 1 MLS team in San Jose. Also, San Diego is an, "MLS darling". They want San Diego market really bad, and would probably win round 2 if the funding becomes in place.

 

Alot of fear, with Sacremento Fans is that a MLS team in Sacremento might be saturating the nearby market. Just to many teams bunched together.

 

Nashville might be a possibility sure, but the problem is that Nashville is a total unknown. The team could do remarkably well, or fall flat on it's face. They will have a USL team next year, and MLS might want to see how there attendance fairs in the USL first, before automatically giving them a bid.

 

It's still 2/3 chance. We have a 66% chance of winning. So does Nashville and Sacremento, so we'll see.

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It appears Oakley is a place holder and the 1st pick is West End. There's no way they'd go through all this if Newport was still an option, right?

 

If West End is chosen as the ultimate site I will literally cry tears of joy. That area could easily become a wrigglyville type of enviroment and atmosphere, and not to even mention the economic boost that might seep over to the West End, and the Old West End. It could do wonders, absolute wonders.

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If it is the west end then maybe this also prepares the public for the eventual request for Tif and airport money for infrastructure from the land owners in Oakely Square while distracting them from the land purchasing in the West End? If so, im glad I'm in design as my head just cant keep up with all the power moves and distractions of the business and political world.

 

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Here's the quote from today's hearing where Berding said Oakley might not be the best site (insinuating they might be looking at another location):

“Three, if you say, ‘I love MLS, I want it to come here, FC Cincinnati, you’re great, thank you for privately financing a stadium, we’re not sure about Oakley.’ Well listen, we’re not – if all this doesn’t get done, maybe Oakley’s not the best site. But Oakley’s a site – we can take a site to the MLS in partnership with the city and the county to get this going, to win the bid. And then you and your wisdom will decide how to make a good plan better, how to make a great neighborhood greater in a different way and another opportunity to use the stadium to make it great or more great. That’s fine. That’s all we’re really asking is to give us a concrete plan we can take to MLS that leverages our money, $350 million, and to win this bid for Cincinnati.”

https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2017/11/27/reading-between-the-lines-is-oakley-truly-where-fc.html

 

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^Yeah but they can say "just hurry up and give us this sweetheart deal so we can win this bid", while insinuating that they're actually wanting to go somewhere else, but then fall back on the sweetheart deal. 

 

But I am still suspicious that they're going to try to get public land since they can get the city to give away a site or do a lopsided swap rather than pay Cast-Fab (or rather the guy who bought the Cast-Fab facility in 2010 for $2 million) the $17 million asking price.  In Nashville they're building on public land and there is a minor controversy over their plans to profit from restaurants and other commercial and ancillary activities on the piece of the Nashville Fairgrounds that the city is coughing up. 

 

What is going in Nashville might hint at what the Lindners really want in Cincinnati...an area that they control around the stadium:

http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2017/10/04/nashville-mls-stadium-plan-private-development-questions-council/729270001/

 

 

 

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Something's really fishy. If they want to use the Oakley stadium proposal to get the MLS bid, dont's they at least have to pretend that they like the Oakley stadium proposal? If they go to MLS and say "yeah, this site is okay I guess, it's approved, but we could totally choose a different site if you pick us," that doesn't really seem like a strong proposal, does it?

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^Maybe that was just Berding blathering out of both sides of his mouth.  I was frankly surprised that I heard as much opposition to the deal in today's committee meeting as I did especially since this is a time of the year when people have more demands on their time, more distractions, etc. 

 

It kills me that Kevin Flynn isn't displaying his usual and overly-dramatic angst about it.  When I think of how much he's complained about Every Little Thing in regard to the City's other financial outlays, I find his lack of concern strange, considering the many unknowns involved in this deal.  I just hope the ordinance language gives the City an easy out if FCC doesn't acquire major league status, and that it allows for flexibility if the venue needs to change.

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Something's really fishy. If they want to use the Oakley stadium proposal to get the MLS bid, dont's they at least have to pretend that they like the Oakley stadium proposal? If they go to MLS and say "yeah, this site is okay I guess, it's approved, but we could totally choose a different site if you pick us," that doesn't really seem like a strong proposal, does it?

 

It sounds like they're just going to pretend that the Oakley stadium plan is a done deal.  Like MLS won't see thru that.  It's not logical that CIN is just going to submit a bid and say we'd like to put it in Oakley, but we'll see where it ends up.

 

At a minimum, a done deal site must be in place for the bid.

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Something's really fishy. If they want to use the Oakley stadium proposal to get the MLS bid, dont's they at least have to pretend that they like the Oakley stadium proposal? If they go to MLS and say "yeah, this site is okay I guess, it's approved, but we could totally choose a different site if you pick us," that doesn't really seem like a strong proposal, does it?

 

It sounds like they're just going to pretend that the Oakley stadium plan is a done deal.  Like MLS won't see thru that.  It's not logical that CIN is just going to submit a bid and say we'd like to put it in Oakley, but we'll see where it ends up.

 

At a minimum, a done deal site must be in place for the bid.

 

MLS doesn't care which site gets picked.  It only cares about the team having a soccer-specific stadium.  Oakley is the fastest, least controversial site, so that's what is getting locked down because the bid needs to get submitted ASAP.  If the site changes after the bid is accepted, no one in MLS is going to bat an eye.  And if no better site materializes, they just proceed with Oakley.

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Something's really fishy. If they want to use the Oakley stadium proposal to get the MLS bid, dont's they at least have to pretend that they like the Oakley stadium proposal? If they go to MLS and say "yeah, this site is okay I guess, it's approved, but we could totally choose a different site if you pick us," that doesn't really seem like a strong proposal, does it?

 

It sounds like they're just going to pretend that the Oakley stadium plan is a done deal.  Like MLS won't see thru that.  It's not logical that CIN is just going to submit a bid and say we'd like to put it in Oakley, but we'll see where it ends up.

 

At a minimum, a done deal site must be in place for the bid.

 

MLS doesn't care which site gets picked.  It only cares about the team having a soccer-specific stadium.  Oakley is the fastest, least controversial site, so that's what is getting locked down because the bid needs to get submitted ASAP.  If the site changes after the bid is accepted, no one in MLS is going to bat an eye.  And if no better site materializes, they just proceed with Oakley.

 

Correct...months ago MLS approved both the West End and Oakley. Contrary to reports, there's been stadium talk since February. The West End is by far a better site. The whole push has been to keep the stadium in Ohio. Now that's done or will be on Wednesday. MLS just needs a site plan submitted for the bid but if FCC just wants more time to buy the properties in the West End this gives them the time. MLS will not care. All of this political talk does not hurt FCC's chances with MLS. MLS cares about ownership group, having a soccer specific stadium, business support and local fan bases. If San Diego or St Louis somehow came back in the next few days with a realistic bid those cities would get the bid, even though they've had months of fighting that basically killed the bid.

 

There's a chance Sacramento gets passed over again, similar to what happened to Rochester years ago. Nashville has a lot of things going for it. Frankly, it's seen as a cooler city and a market that probably excites MLS more than Cincinnati. Though there's a good chance they could just let Nashville wait another year. We'll see.

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If the Lindner family picks up real estate interest in the West End, maybe the Cincy blue bloods will get more interested in intercity train service. #OneCanHope

 

In any case, a stadium in the West End would help bridge the gap between Union Terminal and OTR/CBD. Perhaps when development finishes filling in between the "Gateway Corridor" and Findlay Market, it would start branching over to Union Terminal.

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I predict Nashville will get in eventually. If Cincinnati fails to get a valid bid in before the deadline, they will almost certainly pick Sacramento and Nashville. If Cincinnati gets a valid bid in, I have a hard time predicting who would get chosen. Sacramento has been all but promised a team since 2014, but Cincinnati has been doing everything Sacramento has done on a larger and grander scale. Nashville is still a bit of an unknown, but it has a growing population and is likely seen as a more desirable market than Cincinnati or Sacramento. Accepting Nashville forces MLS to keep out either Cincinnati or Sacramento. Both seem unfair to those cities who would have done everything right and still would not have gotten in. It's a tough call, but if I were on the expansion committee, I would choose Cincinnati and Sacramento, then two larger markets in the next round of expansion (date TBD)

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^I think another thing with Nashville is that it's a market that's not going to go away or become less desirable in the next few years. If MLS skips over it this time, the groundwork has already been laid for the next expansion. Cincinnati's stadium saga has been odd and even as an ardent supporter, I still feel weird about how its all transpired, but I think Sacramento is more likely to get passed over. They've done great things out there and have all the right things in place, but it's another California team and the market is just slightly bigger than Cincinnati.

 

Sacramento was the market that had it all going until MLS opened up the expansion process to more suitors. Nowadays, I'm not so sure if it's as appealing as some other markets. Admitting Cincinnati and Sacramento would both be good and be seen as rewarding grassroots support, but the recent Crew/Austin situation has shown MLS can be just as money focused as any of the other leagues.

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^ What about the news today that Columbus could get in line for an expansion team if the Crew move. Any thoughts on if that hurts Cincy chances or would be a non - issue at this point, or if the olive branch to CBUS is nothing but empty rhetoric since a team in Cincy may better cover the Ohio market?

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I saw that they could get in on the expansion decision for $5 Million, but I think they would still have to pay $150 million expansion fee if they win. I don't think the advocates have the money to put up for this. They need Precourt to keep the Crew in Columbus if they want an MLS team.

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Something's really fishy. If they want to use the Oakley stadium proposal to get the MLS bid, dont's they at least have to pretend that they like the Oakley stadium proposal? If they go to MLS and say "yeah, this site is okay I guess, it's approved, but we could totally choose a different site if you pick us," that doesn't really seem like a strong proposal, does it?

 

It sounds like they're just going to pretend that the Oakley stadium plan is a done deal.  Like MLS won't see thru that.  It's not logical that CIN is just going to submit a bid and say we'd like to put it in Oakley, but we'll see where it ends up.

 

At a minimum, a done deal site must be in place for the bid.

 

MLS doesn't care which site gets picked.  It only cares about the team having a soccer-specific stadium.  Oakley is the fastest, least controversial site, so that's what is getting locked down because the bid needs to get submitted ASAP.  If the site changes after the bid is accepted, no one in MLS is going to bat an eye.  And if no better site materializes, they just proceed with Oakley.

 

So, other then Newport, there is no closer site for an MLS in the downtown area?  I thought the MLS prefers downtown-ish locations.  Look what's happening in Columbus now; also, Chicago's stadium is in a really bad location, among others.

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There's talk of a West End site where Taft HS football field is now.

 

People really don't understand what is happening in Columbus. Yes, their stadium kinda sucks and is a long walk from anything, but the current owner bought the team with a commitment to stay in Columbus UNLESS THEY MOVED TO AUSTIN. He never intended to keep the Crew in Columbus, and always planned to move them to Austin. The stadium issue is a way for him to say he tried but it just isn't working.

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Understood about the real deal with the Columbus Crew.  The owner wants out so it sounds as if the team will be gone, new stadium proposals or not.

 

 

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^ What about the news today that Columbus could get in line for an expansion team if the Crew move. Any thoughts on if that hurts Cincy chances or would be a non - issue at this point, or if the olive branch to CBUS is nothing but empty rhetoric since a team in Cincy may better cover the Ohio market?

 

I think it's a red herring.

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^ What about the news today that Columbus could get in line for an expansion team if the Crew move. Any thoughts on if that hurts Cincy chances or would be a non - issue at this point, or if the olive branch to CBUS is nothing but empty rhetoric since a team in Cincy may better cover the Ohio market?

 

How does a Cincinnati MLS team ''better cover the Ohio market'' over centrally located Columbus?

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If Cincy is already a team, the Ohio market is covered and you do not need 2 teams. Better cover Ohio was not the best choice of words, but rather Ohio would be covered if there was a team in Cincy at that point.

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^ What about the news today that Columbus could get in line for an expansion team if the Crew move. Any thoughts on if that hurts Cincy chances or would be a non - issue at this point, or if the olive branch to CBUS is nothing but empty rhetoric since a team in Cincy may better cover the Ohio market?

 

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If Cincy is already a team, the Ohio market is covered and you do not need 2 teams. Better cover Ohio was not the best choice of words, but rather Ohio would be covered if there was a team in Cincy at that point.

 

So Ohio can only support 1 MLS team? Hmm, not that Cleveland is in the running, but there is a wide spread between NEO and SWO.

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If Cincy is already a team, the Ohio market is covered and you do not need 2 teams. Better cover Ohio was not the best choice of words, but rather Ohio would be covered if there was a team in Cincy at that point.

 

So Ohio can only support 1 MLS team? Hmm, not that Cleveland is in the running, but there is a wide spread between NEO and SWO.

 

Yeah, that makes no sense. It was way after FCC was bidding to join MLS that it came out that the Crew might leave Columbus. Brutus, did you at that point view Ohio as "already covered" by the Crew?

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If Cincy is already a team, the Ohio market is covered and you do not need 2 teams. Better cover Ohio was not the best choice of words, but rather Ohio would be covered if there was a team in Cincy at that point.

 

So Ohio can only support 1 MLS team? Hmm, not that Cleveland is in the running, but there is a wide spread between NEO and SWO.

 

Cleveland has not signaled interest in a team, but sure If Cleveland wanted a team then they could as the population would be spread out enough between the cities. I think Cincy and Columbus could not coexist as easily

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Cleveland has not signaled interest in a team, but sure If Cleveland wanted a team then they could as the population would be spread out enough between the cities. I think Cincy and Columbus could not coexist as easily

 

I  think they could do better than coexist, I think it would be a great rivalry.

 

Anyhow the teams already have coexisted for years.

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