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Report: Citizens group opposes taxpayer money for new stadium, urges MLS to accept Nippert Stadium

After a strong showing throughout the U.S. Open Cup, a group of Cincinnati fans want to MLS on their own terms

A Cincinnati-based citizens’ group is calling for MLS to accept Nippert Stadium should FC Cincinnati join the league in the coming years while dismissing a new soccer-specific stadium stemming from taxpayer wallets. The group claims that if MLS and FCC decide they need a new stadium, “they need to pay it with their own money.”

The group also known as, “No More Stadium Taxes,” opposes any stadium taxes, arena taxes, and stadium subsidies. They claim their perspective on Nippert Stadium aligns with that of FC Cincinnati’s supporters.

“Large numbers of FC Cincinnati fans have already concluded that Nippert Stadium is a high-quality venue for an MLS team,” the citizen’s group said.

Matt Wahlert, No More Stadium Taxes board member and North College Hill councilman, believes that Hamilton County tax dollars should be spent elsewhere, because, Nippert, is already better off than some of MLS’ soccer-specific stadiums.

“MLS should welcome successful venues like Nippert that attract far more fans than their own soccer-specific stadiums,” Wahlert told WCPO. “While MLS has full control over their admission standards, they have no control over Hamilton County tax dollars. Hamilton County has much bigger needs than subsidizing a new soccer stadium for billionaires, especially when we already have at least one fantastic soccer stadium.”

For FCC’s general manager and CEO, Jeff Berding, Nippert is a questionable option as an MLS stadium, and he has made it clear in the past. In July, he announced the club would seek $100 million in public, taxpayer funds for the proposed 25,000-seat soccer-specific stadium in one of three Cincinnati locations.

“It’s not that we’re obtuse,” Berding said. “We understand that there are plenty of our fans and supporters who are out there who want this to work. But to the best of our judgment, the ability to turn Nippert into a soccer-specific stadium is implausible due to some insurmountable challenges.”


  1. Orlando City reported $26 million in revenue and $4 million profit in their first year. The club paid all the operating expenses for Camping World Stadium + $15,000 a game and split the revenue with the city. Seems like there’s room to make something similar work for FCF.

    It’s nice if you can get the taxpayers to give you money, assume the risk and leave you with full control – but it’s bad business for the local government. If the owners really want the revenue they can find another way to finance it.

    • yes, why Don’t the billionaire owners just apply at the bank for a 100 million dollar loan and pay it back with interest over 20 years kind of like average people like us do when we buy a house? i’m sure it would be easy for them to get the loan. why bother the tax payers at all?

  2. Go to Northern KY across the river to Newport. The only thing that separates downtown Cincy and Newport is the Ohio River. Hop, skip and a jump to Cincy — litterally. Easy access.

  3. A quick Google search reveals that Nippert stadium holds 40,000 and is home to the U. of Cincinnati football team. That means the football team uses it 6 or 7 times a year max. I don’t blame them. Why spend $100 million of public money when you have a perfectly good stadium already available? It shouldn’t be hard to schedule games to accommodate both football and soccer.

    • It’s not about scheduling conflicts or even yard lines on the field for last two months of the season. It’s about revenue. Own the stadium you keep all the revenue from soccer and any other event, usually concerts. New teams having their own stadium, ie. revenue source, makes them more economically viable and less likely to fold. Having teams fold brings down the overall perception and value of the league.

  4. Just take a page out of NYCFC and claim you’ll eventually build a stadium, only to have no intention of doing so. Ever.

  5. I haven’t been to this stadium, but based on what I’ve seen online, the stadium passes the smell test. I mean, if MLS is willing to allow NYCFC to play at Yankee Stadium (indefinitely, it seems), then I don’t see a problem with approving FCC after they have shown that fans will show up in droves to watch games there.

    What am I missing?

    • ownership. in the cases of yankee stadium, sounders, atlanta and revs the team owner are also the stadium owners and MLS is able to manage all revenue streams in their stadiums even outside of soccer games. while it is an amazing field for a pro soccer team a mls franchise won’t be able to make revenue off of anything but their game days and even those are negotiated.

      disappointing truth but it makes sense for mls to want to max their revenue abilities. it makes absolutely no sense for tax payers to buy this team a new stadium so mls can control their revenue abilities!

      FC Cincinnati should be a first division team and i hope it is in nippert stadium. maybe the university of Cincinnati (owner of the field) can arrange a favorable deal that works for all but if they can’t then FCC/MLS need to pay for their own stadium.

      • MLS and FCC should be negotiating with UC for more favorable revenue splits in FCC’s favor. I would think it would be in UC interest to allow FCC to take in 80-90% of stadium revenues rather than have FCC leave and get nothing. Nothing against Cincy, but what exactly are they going to do for the 360 days a year when UC doesn’t have a college football game there?

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