CINCINNATI — In the West End, FC Cincinnati's towering stadium - and what team officials describe as a community-driven vision - has taken shape over the last few months. Construction hit a major milestone as crews hoisted the stadium’s final steel beam into place.
That’s good news for FC Cincinnati President Jeff Berding, who said work is on track for completion in time for the 2021 season.
“We want Cincinnati to have the number one, the best stadium. We think we’ve achieved that at West End Stadium,” Berding said.
Everywhere you look, more than 1,500 workers have moved 10,000 tons of steel for the $250 million project.
“This stadium will represent Cincinnati on the world stage in the global sport of soccer,” Berding said.
In a few weeks, the Bailey fan section will be put in that’s twice the size of the original at UC’s Nippert Stadium. Just behind the Bailey, crews will install the league’s largest scoreboard.
Still to be installed: restrooms, concession stands, clubs, lounges and some interior plumbing.
Berding said he’s waiting for the moment when the stadium opens and fans can experience “the exhilaration and pride” for the five-year-old football club. For the Westwood native, the first match can’t get here soon enough.
“I’m looking forward to the grass going down, the seats going in and people marching into the building spring 2021,” he said.
Jordan Norman couldn’t agree more. The general manager of nearby watering hole Queen City Radio passes by the progress every day from the far end of the patio.
“There will be days I go by and they’ve added another siding unit to it, more stadium seats. To see it grow so quickly has been tremendous,” he said.
His company is looking into buying seats at the stadium, and he’s hoping to see a reflection of the Queen City when he first walks in.
“Parts that resemble little pieces of our city, anything that intertwines Cincinnati as a whole. Artists’ work, something local, plaques.”
But some questions remain, including potential traffic headaches.
“Central Parkway can get congested at times,” Norman said. “Foot traffic going around, people walking back and forth.”
Businesses are hoping to build a partnership and a legacy.
“It helps people overall seeing the neighborhood growing,” he said. “It expands over all Cincinnati from the Banks to the West End. We have this strip on this ongoing bit. It’s nice to see part of the West End and over here continue to grow.”
Starting Monday, fans can select their seat locations. For pricing, photos and more information on the stadium and FC Cincinnati, click here.