FC Cincinnati will privately fund its own stadium, but wants $75M for infrastructure

WCPOPublished: November 15, 2017
Published: November 15, 2017

FC Cincinnati General Manager Jeff Berding says the club will privately fund its own soccer-specific stadium. But the deal won't get done without some public dollars: specifically, a $75 million ask for infrastructure at the site. The concept is a 21,000-seat stadium in Oakley -- meeting the minimum bid requirement for Major League Soccer.  Berding said funding for the stadium itself will come from owner equity, team debt and direct stadium development revenues. "In order to get this done, what we're talking about a private investment in the magnitude of $200 million," he said. FC Cincinnati wants the county and city to tap into hotel tax revenue -- Hamilton County collects a 6.5 percent tax on all hotel stays; Cincinnati collects 4 percent -- for the site infrastructure. This year, the county and city are expected to collect more than $12 million in hotel tax. Berding would like the county to commit to using $2.8 million of that cash, every year for the next 30 years, to help fund the project. That money would help pay for new roads and a 1,000-space parking garage, among other things.  "At this point, it is rather unclear if the county shares the vision," he said. The tax would not be increased to pay for the project, Berding added.

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