Apparently, FC Cincinnati recently received marching orders from MLS (Major League Soccer) despite the fact that there is still ample work to be completed before the club can be finally considered for admission to the reputed league.
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In a recently released statement, the officials at FC Cincinnati said that they discussed the possibility with the MLS officials, just like other expansion probables would do. This discussion happened during the inaugural match at Banc of California Stadium, LA.
David Thomson and Carl Lindner III, the club owners, Jeff Berding, the General Manager and David Thompson, the team President attended the meeting.
New stadium in West End
The expansion plan involves construction of a new 21,000 seat stadium in West End, at a cost of around $ 212.5 million. The city officials have approved the development agreement and the financing has been worked out through the Greater Cincinnati Redevelopment Authority.
What remains to be completed is the community benefits agreement with the West End neighbours. This hasn’t been approved yet by the city and no funds can be used towards the stadium until that happens. People in the neighbourhood have been strongly opposing the stadium and the president of the community council is expected to face impeachment because of his role in the initial benefits agreement.
FC Cincinnati officials stated that while they’ve accomplished extraordinary progress in this regard, all the work must be finalised first, including multiple legal agreements with the city, Cincinnati Public schools, County and port, apart from the assessment of their MLS Nippert Stadium’s plan. It is only then that their bid would be considered 100% complete for the final review.
MLS officials to visit the city soon
While FC Cincinnati would be busy in finalising their bid, MLS and FCC would be paying a visit to the city, led by various MLS executives and Don Garber, the MLS Commissioner. MLS contingent will also meet with the club ownership during this visit.
During an interview to the press, FC Cincinnati’s officials said, “We’ve come extraordinarily far in such a short time, but before we have the opportunity to earn a place in Major League Soccer, we must have complete due diligence to ensure a success and we’re focused on that at this time. We appreciate our community’s continued support of our club and our goal to bring an MLS franchise to our region.”
MLS has made great progress ever since its introduction over two decades ago. Stars like David Beckham, Zlatan Ibrahimovic (who recently made his debut with LA Galaxy in style) and others are contributing significantly to the popularity of the sport in the US.
The West End stadium site hasn’t yet been visited by the MLS officials, and there is no certain news when this inspection might happen. Many soccer fans who have been following FC Cincinnati’s progress were hopeful of receiving MLS vote in favour of the upcoming team. It was revealed later that no expansion vote happened, although the league officials did mention FC Cincinnati in a statement on the stadium related progress made by the club.