Will the CBA be enough for a stadium in the West End?

"When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it's always twenty years behind the times." -Mark Twain

Cincinnatians have always been stubborn. Stemming from its German roots, people in the Queen City have been known for being behind the times, resisting technological and societal change, and do not like when other people tell them what to do.

Good thing that building a soccer specific stadium in the West End isn't trying to catch up to modern times, isn't wanting to be technologically advanced, and isn't telling a bunch of other people what to do. 

Oh wait, yeah it is.

That's not to say that Cincinnati has not made progress in recent times. The development of the Banks in Downtown Cincinnati and the total reconstruction of Over-the-Rhine during the past decade is substantial progress to a city that was desperately in need of some new life. 

Now, the city has a chance to continue the progress at little cost to them, but this time it is not in the hands of the city government, rather it is in the hands of Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS). While the decision seems as easy as Mitch making a save against the Chicago fire, many are thinking about past stadium deals that have handicapped Cincinnati. While they definitely have the right to do this, this is a different situation with different circumstances, but if there is one thing people in Cincinnati like to do more than anything else, it's dwell on the past.

Yesterday, FC Cincinnati released part of a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) that they would have with CPS if the club does in fact build a new stadium on the current site of Stargel Stadium. Let's take a look at it:
There are two big takeaways from this part of the CBA:

1) A new and improved Stargel Stadium will be built at a different location and FC Cincinnati will pay for the complete construction of both their stadium and the new Stargel Stadium.
2) FC Cincinnati will pay taxes to CPS each year, with the amount increasing as the deal progresses.

But FC Cincinnati does have a catch. They say they must determine a site location by the end of the month, meaning that the need an answer from CPS in the very near future.

Opponents of the new stadium on the current Stargel site argue that this CBA is being rushed through, and that it does not provide enough substantial benefits up front, even though CPS could receive up to $3,600,000 per year starting in 15 years.

While reading this part of the CBA, a question popped into my mind: How many school districts would turn down a brand new stadium and $100,000, with the almost certain potential to make millions of dollars down the road, just so a business could use the location of their old stadium?

Here is some additional information on the CBA:

So will the CBA be enough to convince CPS to allow FC Cincinnati to use the Stargel site for a new soccer specific stadium. Unfortunately, and I can't believe I'm saying this, no.

And if you don't think FC Cincinnati has power at the bargaining table, think again. The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce is more than willing to let FC Cincinnati use the Ovation Site in Newport, and probably not receive nearly the amount of benefits that CPS and the West End would receive. Also, people are a lot more cozy with the idea of a stadium being located in Newport than they were a year ago, especially if the club exhausted all of its options in Ohio.

 In MY opinion, I believe that the lack of support for the stadium and the West End, and the recent development of support for the stadium in Newport will ultimately lead to the stadium being built in Northern Kentucky. It's the same opinion that I had nine months ago:

If #BuilditHere fails, it won't be because of the lack of fan support, rather it would be because of forces that are outside of their control and almost everybody's control. If that is the reason the Stadium goes to Newport, it sucks. However, as a resident of Northern Kentucky, I'd love to have the stadium, and that tone is a lot different than the tone of some individuals north of the bridge.


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