( CINCINNATI, OH ) -- The Cincinnati Public School Board met to vote on whether or not they will continue to negotiate with FC Cincinnati on a land-swap deal in the West End. If the deal goes through, FCC will build their future Major League Soccer stadium where Stargel Stadium currently stands. However, the soccer club had previously stated that the West End was off the table when the school board would not agree to their terms.
It was a vote of 7-0 in favor of continued negotiations on a deal, and School Board President Carolyn Jones said "We did not back down from our position about our fair share of taxes. What we did, that I thought was excellent, was revise it to reflect what we really wanted and expected in any kind of agreement."
The Board of Education says that on March 14, FC Cincinnati President Jeff Berding sent them a letter, detailing the soccer club's "final and best offer" on what it was willing to pay in property taxes, and then demanded that the Board respond no later than 5 PM that day.
The Board says that for an agreement to be reached, FCC must agree to pay 25% of property taxes on the project, the Board must see a written Community Benefits Agreement negotiated between FC Cincinnati and the coalition of community organizations and residents in the neighborhood, and FC Cincinnati must present acceptable documentation of a land exchange wherein the District receives a newly-constructed Stargel Stadium valued at $10-million, designed with input and approval from the District and its stakeholders.
The Board also says that it will establish a partnership with FC Cincinnati which will include the soccer club's commitment to providing expanded academic, athletic, internship, and employment opportunities for CPS students.