STADIUM: MLS wants “truly urban buildings, but they haven’t had that opportunity until now”

On Friday, Carl Lindner III and Jeff Berding unveiled the principal partners that will construct FC Cincinnati’s soccer specific stadium. At a media event held in Great American Tower, the team’s President & General Manager showcased the stadium team and their plans to materialize “a new design” in Cincinnati’s West End neighborhood.

Stadium Construction Team

Architecture
MEIS Architects, Dan Meis
Elevar Design Group, Tom Fernandez
Construction
Turner Construction, David Spaulding
Jostin Construction, Albert Smitherman
Finance
U.S. Bank, Bill Mulvihill
Project Planning
Machete Group, David Carlock

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Stadium team (L to R): Fernandez, Carlock, Smitherman, Berding, Lindner III, Meis, Spaulding, Mulvihill (behind Communications VP Summers)

Stadium Construction Fast Facts

  • MEIS has been involved since the start of the MLS bid. They’ve designed several MLS stadia and are currently working on new venues for AS Roma and Everton FC.
  • Elevar Design Group is also an architecture firm that will be MEIS’ local partner on the project. They will be the “boots on the ground” and MEIS’s “eyes and ears when necessary” for the effort.
  • Turner Construction plans for a groundbreaking on the $200M+ stadium by the end of this year. They will have the foundations of the stadium in place by Q2 2019, and plan to celebrate the “topping out” of the stadium at the end of 2019. The stadium will be ready for use for the 2021 MLS season.
  • Jostin is a local MBE (Minority Business Enterprise) and SBE (Small Business Enterprise) certified construction firm. They have partnered with Turner on several projects in the past including the Great American Tower, where the meeting was held.
  • FC Cincinnati’s goal is to build a stadium with a seating capacity larger than the established 21,000 plan. However, they are currently reviewing cost factors before making a final determination.

“Truly Urban” Building

The most interesting aspect of the press conference was the discussion of fitting the new stadium into the West End neighborhood. Due to the site location, the design of the stadium has to change from the original renderings featured in the MLS bid process.

“Now that you have a site, you have to embed the design into the site. That will be the challenge for Dan (Meis) and Tom (Fernandez) and their teams.” said Jeff Berding. Meis said that his team is “starting over” in terms of the design, but is also “drawing on a lot of the same principles” used to develop the initial renderings. An updated design is expected to be released within “several weeks”. The end result will be something that Meis claims that MLS has been looking to achieve for some time now — a “truly urban building.”

“This is a really unique site…It’s an opportunity to really knit a design into a neighborhood. . .We have a truly urban site with a great neighborhood history. MLS has often talked about trying to create truly urban buildings and drawing on the international aspect of the architecture . . .but they really haven’t had an opportunity quite like this. This is a site and a neighborhood and a fanbase that will bring a truly international flavor to MLS and create an entirely new kind of building.”

Stay tuned to Orange & Blue Press for more coverage of FC Cincinnati’s 2018 season.

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