TQL Stadium (West End Stadium)

Capacity26 000
4,500 (Business seats)
75 (Press seats)
3,170 (Standing places)
Country United States of America
CityCincinnati
ClubsFC Cincinnati
Inauguration 16/05/2021 (FC Cincinnati - Inter Miami CF, 2-3)
Construction 18/12/2018 - 06/03/2021
Cost $ 250 million
Design Populous, Elevar
Structural Engineer Buro Happold, Julie Cromwell Associates
Contractor Turner Construction
Address 1501 Central Pkwy, Cincinnati, OH 45214

Description: TQL Stadium

FC Cincinnati's new home is located in West End. The facility was built on a plot previously occupied by parking lots and Willard Stargel Stadium, where high school competitions were held. This site was one of the three areas that were considered when building a venue for a new club that signed up for MLS. The approval to create a new arena in this location was given in April 2018.

A month later, Cincinnati's MLS application was accepted and the franchise was allowed to enter the league in 2019. Until the construction of the new ground was completed, FC Cincy played its home games at Nippert Stadium.

The design of the facility was entrusted to the MEIS studio, but in March 2019 change of the architectural office was announced. Populous stepped into action and made amendments to the documentation while earthworks were already in progress.

The facade of the stadium was to be changed from a translucent membrane to an intricate set of 513 fins, each richly covered with LED lights. In the end, 387 of them were installed (287 of which are illuminated), with the main stand left entirely uncovered.

As a result, the facade provides great ventilation and may become a living screen at night. This is not possible only on the west side, which is closer to homes of the local community and light pollution is an issue. The roof was also redesigned to ensure rain protection for all rows of stands.

Construction began on December 18, 2018 with the cornerstone laying ceremony. Pouring of the foundations started in July 2019, and in November of the same year, works related to erection of the steel structure. Spring 2020 was the time of completion of the upper bowl, while the roof was ready in summer. In the autumn of 2020, the pitch was laid and scoreboards were installed. In winter, the assembly of seats began, including the orange silhouette of winged lion Gary, the club mascot (as selected by fans). Ultimately, the stadium was finished in the spring of 2021.

Facade is definitely the most characteristic part of the venue, also it’s the first of its kind across all MLS venues. There are over 4 kilometres of LEDs at the disposal of the arena management, thanks to which graphics, logos and inscriptions can be displayed.

The interior of the building is a continuous 360-degree bowl covered with a roof. The seating bowl is very compact, with the front row as close to the field as 4.6m in the west and 5.6m on all remaining sides. The east and south stands are two-tier and the west stand has the vast majority of premium seats, which are located on different levels, from pitchside to top floor areas.

More affluent supporters have 53 private boxes at their disposal, 2 party suites and 3 field-level suites. In total, the premium seats can accommodate as many as 4,500 fans, as much as 17% of the total capacity, the most in MLS.

Single-tier north stand, "The Bailey", is part of the arena for the club's most die-hard fans, where there are only safe standing places. This is also where the widest screen in MLS was arranged. This stand has a capacity of 3,170 and is quite steep with an angle of 34 degrees, as much as regulations allow.

To the east of the stadium, there is a view of Over-the-Rhine, a historic German working-class district with many bars and small breweries. There is also an impressive staircase and plaza overlooking the aforementioned district. The place was designed as the main gathering place for fans.

TQL stadium covers an area of 12.4 acres (5 hectares) and up to 10,000 tons of steel were used for its construction. Fans have 6 entry gates and 30 toilets at their disposal. TV commentators can use 3 booths and radio journalists can use 4 cabins.

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