Architects Imagine FC Cincinnati Soccer Stadium on Covington Riverfront
Friday's exclusive story at The River City News about FC Cincinnati president & general manager Jeff Berding saying that Covington and Newport could be possible locations for the soccer team's stadium lit up Twitter and local Reddit forums.
The possibility of the wildly popular professional soccer club's locating in Northern Kentucky had also inspired Covington-based Hub + Weber Architects to create renderings of what such a stadium may look like.
The firm released the images posted above and below - only fueling the social media and online conversation that carried over into the weekend.
The images are loose in detail, by design, but suggest a stadium in Covington near where the IRS currently operates its large flat-top building. That site will be vacated in 2019.
Berding also said that Newport's Ovation site is in the mix, too.
FC Cincinnati currently plays its games at the University of Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium where the club invested $2 million in renovations recently but as it pursues an invitation to join Major League Soccer (MLS), a new stadium may be in order, and Berding said that such a project would happen in an urban area in the region. That could mean Clifton near UC, downtown Cincinnati, or even Covington or Newport.
"Our commitment, because soccer is urban, we have said we were going to build a stadium in the urban core and last I checked, this side of the river has an urban core," Berding said Thursday during a presentation at the Metropolitan Club in Covington. "So, whether it's Clifton or maybe a little bit north of Clifton and it comes down to what I would call the riverfront, Northern Kentucky, absolutely.
"We haven't identified the sites that we think could work, or that could be interesting, and that's about where we are."
As drawn up by Hub + Weber, the imagined Covington location would place a new stadium near the riverfront just west of an also-imagined expanded Northern Kentucky Convention Center, and would be surrounded by commercial development, with access to a river deck and the forthcoming Riverfront Commons river walk trail system.
The RCN story about Berding's comments blew up on Reddit and Twitter, with some fans of the team upset about any talk of moving to Kentucky, others excited about the prospect, and even other fans who argue that they accept what is best for the sustainability of the club.
-Michael Monks, editor & publisher