CINCINNATI — It won’t be long until thousands of fans stream through the gates of the brand-new TQL stadium, cheer in the Bailey and wait for the team to take the pitch, but the FC Cincinnati management worked hard to make each game an experience unto itself.
Parking passes and tickets to the match will be included on an app, inside of which there will be plenty of choices for food and drink at multiple concession stands.
“We’ll be a cashless experience. That’ll help with transaction times with concession stands and merchandise,” TQL Stadium general manager Dan Lolli said. “To provide a better experience for our fans.”
Don’t worry if you have cash – there will be three machines around the stadium to convert it directly over to a Visa gift card, with no fees.
Even ordering food has been upgraded to a different experience.
“You can go up and talk to the cashier, let them know what you want, and pay there,” Lolli said. “Or you can go up to a point of sale transaction yourself – type in what you want and run your own order.”
The goal is to get what you want quickly, so you don’t miss a minute of the action.
“We expect to be able to service all 26,000 fans in the first 15 minutes at halftime,” Lolli said.
The Bailey underwent a few changes from the past areas where the club has played – for one, everyone will be standing. Also, everyone gets their own cupholder. It’s also a lot bigger.
“We wanted to take the tradition we’ve formed at Nippert. Enhance it,” Lolli said. “Allow the supporters to really shine. Double the size of the old section.”
Standing room only, and at more than 3,100 in the section at full capacity – it’ll be rockin.’
Fans will even notice differences at the field level. The pitch is all grass, and the sidelines are artificial turf to protect the grass in play.
With just a few finishing touches being made before FC Cincinnati hosts Inter Miami CF Sunday, May 16 in the season and stadium opener, the city and the team is moving into a new era.