CINCINNATI – An enormous FC Cincinnati banner is safe and sound after somebody made off with it following the team's inaugural home opener win Saturday night.
An "unknown person" returned the banner overnight Sunday to a University of Cincinnati public safety ambassador, a university spokeswoman said Monday morning.
The banner was undamaged and will be re-hung in its rightful place later this week in time for the club’s game against River Cities Cup rival, Louisville City FC, this Saturday.
The team is still working on re-installation details and will share the information as it becomes available, FC Cincinnati officials said.
“We are happy the banner was returned and undamaged,” FC Cincinnati President and General Manager Jeff Berding said. “We thank UC Public Safety and the media for their assistance in its recovery and we consider the case closed.
"Lastly, we want to thank the person who returned the banner for doing the right thing.”
The large banner depicts a winged lion. It was located in the southern end of the upper eastside deck at Nippert Stadium before being stolen early Sunday. The theft was caught on camera.
"We had the banners put in place to add FCC color to the stadium and enhance the game day visuals for soccer fans,” Berding said. “We hope that anyone who visits the stadium to enjoy an FCC soccer match will continue to show their enthusiasm in a respectful manner.”
The club announced that it would take the issue to police if the banner were not returned to Nippert within 24 hours.
“Obviously there was a lot of excitement following the game and there were individuals who made a bad decision in stealing the banner,” club President and GM Jeff Berding said.