UPDATE: FC Cincinnati West End Stadium Deal Appears Dead

posted by 700WLW News - 

UPDATE 6:36pm - FC Cincinnati released a short statement on Wednesday evening saying:

"Tonight FC Cincinnati received a letter from the attorney for Cincinnati Public Schools. As a result, FC Cincinnati did not move ahead with the purchase of needed property for a West End stadium, property that was scheduled to close today.

We will have no further comment this evening."

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ORIGINAL STORY:
( Cincinnati, OH ) - The ball is back in FC Cincinnati's court. 

After meeting Wednesday afternoon, the Cincinnati Public School District Board of Education sent a letter to attorneys for FC Cincinnati that outlines the parameters for a proposed land agreement. 

The letter requests that FC Cincinnati provide the Board with a fully documented formal agreement proposal for review.

The Board also outlined what it expects to see in any proposed land agreement, including: 

- A community benefits agreement.

- An agreement to follow the Board’s policies in the construction of a new Stargel Stadium, including to utilize local and minority supplies. 

- A written commitment from FC Cincinnati to pay its fair share of taxes.

CPS Superintendent Laura Mitchel says no decisions have been made and no vote on the issue has been scheduled. She says when the Board does receive a formal proposal, it will discuss it in a public session. 

All of this comes in response to a 5pm deadline set by the soccer club Wednesday morning. FC Cincinnati President Jeff Berding told 700 WLW that the club did not need a formal agreement, but an assurance that they were willing to move forward on a partnership. 

Laura Mitchell is confident that the board meet that deadline. 

FC Cincinnati released a statement saying that they doubled their recent offer to CPS:

"If we are to proceed in the West End, FC Cincinnati must spend nearly $1,000,000 beginning at 5:00 pm today (Wednesday) on real estate acquisition options for necessary site properties. 

As such, we have made a final offer to CPS more than doubling our offer from Monday to pay $750,000 each year over the first 10 years in the new stadium, and to pay a consistent annual amount thereafter. 

FC Cincinnati strongly believes its proposal to CPS is significantly better than the status quo, which is CPS receiving approximately $70,000 in annual property tax payments ($700,000 over 10 years) and a tax-abated, high end CitiRama development on the proposed new Stargel Stadium site. 

This proposal provides CPS more tax revenue than a stadium site in Oakley or in Newport, KY – which would be zero."

Berding said if this offer was not accepted, then the stadium would have to go in either Oakley or Newport. The team wants to nail down a stadium site by the end of March. 

FC Cincinnati has not yet responded to the School Boards letter. 

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