WEST END, Ohio (WKRC) – In just a few short years, FC Cincinnati made the jump from the United Soccer League to Major League Soccer.
On Tuesday, the club, along with its supporters, broke ground on its $230-million West End stadium. Until it’s finished, the club will continue to play at Nippert Stadium.
The stadium will include 26,500 seats, an expanded Bailey section for fans and technology that will light up the outside in the team’s colors.
"It's going to be nice to see a big bright stadium here, walk past it every day,” said 13-year-old Michael-Marie Kidd.
Kidd is a member of the Q-Kidz Dance Team in the West End. She and some of her teammates got to help in the groundbreaking.
"To see something new in our neighborhood is very good for us and good for children to see,” said 16-year-old Nyla Sanders.
In a way, it’s fitting that the vision of progress and moving forward in the West End will take place at the site of the old Stargel Stadium. Stargel made dreams possible for many who came after him.
"He accomplished a lot himself, but he also paved the way for greatness in others. This is an opportunity for us going forward,” said Keith Blake of the West End Community Council.
"I'm excited, looking forward to the stadium being here and providing opportunities for the community. I’m looking forward to it providing a better life, jobs, scholarships, stuff of that nature for my kids,” said Marquicia Jones-Woods of Q-Kidz.
And that’s part of the community agreement with FC Cincinnati: help programs succeed for those living in the West End.
The foundation will be poured in the spring of 2019. The stadium is expected to be finished in March 2021.