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FC Cincinnati Kicks Off Construction of $250M Soccer Stadium

Architecture firm Populous designed West End Stadium in Cincinnati to hold between 26,000 and 26,500 seats as well as a standing room known as “The Bailey,” which can accommodate up to 3,100 additional fans. (Rendering courtesy of Populous)

CINCINNATI — FC Cincinnati (FCC), a Major League Soccer team, is headed for a new home. The team recently started construction of a $250 million stadium in the city’s West End, unveiling the full design plans for the first time this week.

General contractor Turner Construction broke ground on the project in December and expects to complete the stadium in March 2021.

Architecture firm Populous designed West End Stadium — the team said the name may change as potential corporate sponsors get involved with naming rights — to hold between 26,000 and 26,500 seats. It will also feature standing room known as “The Bailey,” which can hold up to 3,100 additional fans.

FC Cincinnati has entered into a public-private partnership with the City of Cincinnati for infrastructure improvements around the stadium, with the city providing $35 million for those projects. The construction itself will be privately funded by the team’s ownership. U.S. Bank is providing construction financing for the stadium, according to Cincinnati Public Radio.

“As a Cincinnati native and lifelong resident, I have nothing but pride knowing our West End Stadium will be a strong symbol of this city on the world stage,” says FCC president Jeff Berding. ““MLS soccer-specific stadiums are becoming showpieces in the sports world and true attractions in the home markets.”

The roof will cover every seat and include 513 vertical “fins,” each bearing custom LED lighting that can be programmed to glow and pulsate. Other features include a 110-yard-by-75-yard natural-grass pitch, central tunnel for players to enter and exit, two video boards and two LED ribbon scoreboards wrapping around the mezzanine’s façade. The stadium will also offer 59 suites, the most in a non-football stadium in the country.

Turner Construction has worked on several sports stadiums in the country, including Madison Square Garden in New York; Yankee Stadium; Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver; Audi Field in Washington, D.C.; Comerica Park in Detroit; and Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. Populous, which has experience designing soccer stadiums, replaced Meis as the designer.

— Alex Tostado

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