Cincinnati City Council called a press conference on short notice on Friday April 6th to make an announcement about FC Cincinnati’s West End stadium pursuit. The press conference was held at the Lighthouse Worship Center on Central Avenue. Politicians, community leaders, building and trade officials, West End residents, and even the “Little Senators” were in attendance.
Council members P.G. Sittenfeld and David Mann used this morning’s press conference to outline a proposed stadium and community plan they crafted. They believe the plan has the necessary number of city council votes to pass, and that FC Cincinnati has agreed to it in principle.
P.G. shared, “We are here to share some big news and what I believe is a big break through.” He continued, “We don’t pass on opportunity, we seize opportunity. Let’s make our vibrancy brighter, let’s make our narrative stronger”. According to Sittenfeld, “After much listening and doing my homework…the question is how can we do the most good for the most people? We are forced to make choices, sometimes binary and often difficult.”
Proposed Stadium Deal Points
- $25M+ of new money to Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS)
- FC Cincinnati to pay full fair share of property taxes
- $32M of new money will be spent with minority businesses, including $22M being spent with women-owned businesses
- $15M in new, quality affordable housing by a private developer in partnership with the city (no homes will be demolished and no one displaced by the construction)
- $100,000 annual commitment from FC Cincinnati for West End organizations and kids activities
- $10M new Stargel Stadium
- Community Benefits Agreement to be negotiated that covers light, noise, litter, traffic, and safety
Sittenfeld concluded his prepared remarks with the question, “What will happen if we don’t seize on this opportunity and allow the project to go over the river?” After listing the benefits of this plan he ended with, “We are a can-do city.”
Former Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory, from a 4th generation West End family, added “this will be the largest single investment in the West End in the history of the community.”
This morning’s news does not guarantee that the stadium plan is a done deal, or that MLS will finally announce FC Cincinnati’s bid. However, it certainly does set the stage for the necessary votes by the Cincinnati Public School (CPS) board, the West End Community Council, and Cincinnati’s City Council.
After today’s warm up with some positive news on the stadium front, FC Cincinnati supporters will look to continue the momentum tomorrow in the FC Cincinnati vs. Louisville City FC match.