The new FC Cincinnati stadium will open in March, 2021. West End Stadium will be a kind of bridge between the city centre and residential areas. This will be reflected in the facade of the stadium, the aesthetics of which matches the architecture of the neighbouring districts. Further funding has just been granted.
FC Cincinnati has been in existence since 2016. In the highest league of the United States they started playing in 2019. Despite this, they cannot complain about the lack of interest from fans. The club has one of the highest attendance figures in the league, which in 2019 amounted to 27,336 people per game.
Moving to a new stadium is a natural consequence of the club's rapid development and willingness to take another step forward. Until now, FC Cincinnati played their home fixtures at the non-functional Nippert Stadium, which is the university's stadium for American football.
The stadium as a reflection of city and its inhabitants
Cincinnati has one of the best football supporters in the entire MLS. Fans of the club are known for their loud cheering and well-developed ultras movement.
We were captivated by the energy of the fans. The march of supporters to the stadium, as well as constant cheering during the match, causes a lot of noise. The challenge is to nurture this passion without adversely affecting our neighbours - both residential and institutional, said Jonathan Mallie, director at Populous, the stadium designer.
The solution to minimize the negative impact of West End Stadium on the neighbourhood is to completely roof the facility so that the sound generated by fans is trapped inside the stadium. The east side of the venue overlooks Over-the-Rhine, a historic German working class district with many bars and small breweries. The design of the eastern facade of the stadium harmonizes with this vicinity. According to the agreement reached with local authorities, the western part of the stadium, facing a residential area, has a more relaxed look, referring to the architecture of the area.
Stadium features known at the moment
They have already installed some of the seats at West End Stadium (26,000 capacity). The venue covers an area of 12.4 acres and the cost of the investment is $250 million. Although all of the stadium’s actual cost is to be covered by private investors, taxpayers have to foot the bill for transformation of the surrounding area.
Just in recent days the state senate has pledged $16 million more, adding to what they already approved back in 2018 ($4 million). Cincinnati City Council approved $34 million for infrastructure improvements and the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners approved plans for the 800-space parking garage just north of the stadium, worth $1.25 million..
The authorities of FC Cincinnati have also released information about VIP zones on the facility, which are divided into four clubs:
The Tunnel Club (390 capacity) will be located under the main stand near the seating area at the pitch. The view from this zone provides an excellent opportunity to see the players running out onto the pitch from the dressing rooms.
The Pitch View Club (800 capacity) is billed as the place with the best view of pitch events. It is located in the heart of the west side of the stadium.
The Cincinnatus Club (1,300 capacity) is a shaded space underneath the Pitch View Club.
The East Side Club (2,100 capacity) is a beer hall that pays homage to the brewing industry of Cincinnati.
The single-tier North Stand at West End Stadium will function as The Bailey. All places on it will be standing. Additionally, the widest LED screen in the MLS league will be installed. The Bailey starts at the bottom level just 5 meters away from pitch and will accommodate 3,170 of FC Cincinnati's most die-hard fans. The functionality of this stand is primarily safe standing benches with handrails and cup holders. Ticket prices for The Bailey are known to be around $20.
Author: Tomasz Sobura