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FC Cincinnati officially rules out West End stadium site, claims CPS payments too expensive

Posted at 4:32 PM, Mar 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-17 11:04:36-04

CINCINNATI -- After an extended will-they-or-won't-they, FC Cincinnati officially broke its engagement with the West End in a statement released Friday evening. Now, the team will turn its head toward its two remaining stadium site suitors: Oakley and Newport.

"The economics of privately funding a stadium in the West End are impractical," the statement reads, citing Cincinnati Public Schools' request the team pay $20 million to the district over the course of its first 10 years if it were to build a stadium in the neighborhood. The cost of the stadium itself is estimated around $250 million.

The statement argues the requested payment would be too great a burden on the team alongside the tens of millions it had already pledged to help West End community development if it became the stadium site. 

FC Cincinnati had recently proposed it make payments of around $750,000 each year, but an emergency meeting of the school board concluded that was too low and bumped the ask up to an average of $2 million annually with slightly deferred payments for the first five years.

The team concluded its Friday statement with a classic we would have been so good together.

"This was a one-in-a-lifetime development opportunity for a neighborhood that wants and needs new investment, and the jobs and business opportunities that would have come with it," the statement reads. "While we are disappointed we will not be neighbors with our new friends in the West End, we are committed to remaining partners working to improve the quality of life in the neighborhood."