Pros and Cons of potential FC Cincinnati Stadium Sites
After learning yesterday about FC Cincinnati's new home if they make it to the MLS, the big question that remains is this- Which site would be home to the new stadium?
Below, I have listed the three stadium sites that FC Cincinnati is considering, some pros and cons of each site, and some power rankings on which site is likely to be chosen.
1) Oakley (About 8 miles northeast of downtown Cincinnati)
Pros: Right off of the interstate, making it a convenient location to get to and from games as opposed to Nippert. The area around the site is already built up, meaning less money will be needed to fund site-development. The site location also helps reach fans that are north of the city.
Cons: However, the fact that the location is about 8 miles away from downtown Cincinnati could also hurt the club as well because other fans will actually have to travel further for games (From my house in Northern Kentucky, it would add another 10 minutes of driving to get to an FCC game). This means that some fans might not be willing to make a longer trip to watch FCC play, actually hurting attendance.
2) West End (Just west of Music Hall and Washington Park)
Pros: Location, Location, Location. This site is right in the middle of the heart of FC Cincinnati's fan base and is only about two miles away from their current home. The area around the site is being built up as we speak and offers plenty of places to watch and support the team outside of the stadium.
Cons: The site is landlocked, meaning there isn't much room to expand. If you have ever been near or around Over-The-Rhine, you know exactly what I am talking about. In fact, there are rumors that FCC would actually need to use the land that Taft High School uses for their football team to make this site work. This could create a major headache for stadium designers and could be reason enough to not pick this site.
3) Newport, KY (Near the meeting of the Ohio and Licking rivers)
Pros: Plenty of land, giving the club plenty of room to grow and expand if they need to. It also offers a clear view of the Cincinnati skyline, making a beautiful backdrop for FC Cincinnati matches. Still fairly close to the heart of FCC Country, allowing fans to not have to travel far to watch a game.
Cons: Plenty of land is also a negative as well because it means that FC Cincinnati would have to contribute to the build-up of the areas around the site. The stadium is also is a completely different state, and while it would be closer to downtown than the Oakley site, the prospect of having to travel over to Kentucky for a match might not be appealing to some fans.
Personal Power Rankings:
1) West End
I think the West End site would be an amazing place for a soccer-specific stadium if they can find the land to build it. Ten years ago, if I told you that the were eventually going to put a stadium for a professional sports team in Over-The-Rhine, you would have called me crazy. However, the major overhaul of this area has contributed to the renaissance of our city. What better way to complete the Over-The-Rhine area and show off our rising city by placing a Major League Soccer stadium here.
Realistic Power Rankings (How FCC is thinking):
2) West End
In this set of power rankings, Oakley is still number three, but the West End and Newport sites have traded places. While I would love to put the stadium in the West End, I just don't feel like FCC thinks it's realistic. Instead, I feel like FCC wants to actually put their new crown jewel in Newport, and the presentation yesterday combined with this quote by Berding makes it seem like Newport is the favorite, "Honestly, we'd be thrilled to build in Newport."
So where do you think the new stadium will be? Where do you want it to be? Let us know in the comments.
(Photo courtesy of @sportrated/Twitter)