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Jeff Berding hasn't given up on West End stadium for FC Cincinnati

Posted at 7:54 PM, Apr 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-06 07:44:43-04

CINCINNATI -- Jeff Berding still wants to build a soccer stadium in the West End.

While FC Cincinnati had also been considering sites in Oakley and Newport for a new stadium, team GM Berding said Thursday that Oakley "is not as close to the urban core as desired" and the team hasn't been able to reach an agreement with Corporex, the owner of the Ovation site in Newport. 

"We have worked for nearly three months in the West End, engaging neighborhood stakeholders, CPS, elected officials and others in a variety of public meetings and private discussions," Berding said in a written statement. "While we have yet to achieve necessary political support to advance plans for a privately financed stadium in the West End, we continue to engage elected leaders in Cincinnati to build a winning partnership here in the city."

Berding reached out to FC Cincinnati fans on Twitter, asking them to "keep the faith" as the back-and-forth over a stadium site drags on. Most people replying to his tweets were willing, but some indicated they have lost patience with him and Major League Soccer.

 

Read more replies to Berding's tweets by clicking on "people are talking about this." See more comments on reddit.com/fccincinnati.

Plans to build a FC Cincinnati stadium had seemed to be derailed last month after Cincinnati Public Schools rejected the team's offer of $750,000 per year and offered a deal for $2 million per year.

Despite that, opposition to a West End stadium has continued. On Wednesday, a group sent a letter to the school board and city council opposing the plan. 

"We remain solidly against the location of an FC Cincinnati stadium in our West End neighborhood because we know that this would lead to the further gentrification of our neighborhood and the displacement of ourselves and many of our neighbors from our neighborhood," the West End Resident Council Presidents wrote. 

Still, Berding wrote Thursday that he hopes "to have the support from necessary stakeholders needed to bring Major League Soccer and a privately funded stadium to Greater Cincinnati."