( West End ) - It's a massive project that'll take more than two years, but the long journey started Tuesday afternoon with a ceremonial groundbreaking.
"We've already reached tremendous highs in such a short time with the support of the great people of this region. Now, we look forward to strengthening that bond," said FC Cincinnati General Manager Jeff Berding as work has now begun to construct a stadium for the team that's joining MLS in 2019. Owner, Carl Lindner III, spoke as well, saying the organization hopes that the stadium will become "a new jewel in [the] Queen City's crown."
On the phone with Bill Cunningham before the ceremony, Dave Spaulding with Turner Construction described the process of building the $200 million facility. "I always say the hardest about construction is starting, and we're starting today, so we're gonna hit the ground running." Spaulding says crews will be starting with site infrastructure and earth-moving until March, then work will begin on the foundation. By the middle of the year 2020, he projects that there will be upwards of 400 workers on-site. Current projections have the project complete by the spring of 2021.
The Commissioner of Major League Soccer, Don Garber, spoke at Tuesday's groundbreaking as well. He described how it was just a year ago that team and city leaders were making their pitch that FC Cincinnati should be brought in to MLS. Garber called it "one of the great moments in our expansion history."