FC Cincinnati Feeling The MLS Heat, Carl Linder III Begs For Tax Payer Money In The Enquirer

FC Cincinnati is feeling the MLS heat after the pre-confirmation that Nashville would receive a bid. Cincinnati is desperately trying to land an MLS bid along with 11 other cities. Part of landing that bid is a soccer-specific stadium, something FCC currently lacks. To date, the ownership group has committed $250M to the bid and stadium, with $100M going to the stadium. That leaves a $100M deficit the club would like the taxpayers of Hamilton County to pick up.

Cincinnati and Hamilton County politicians have said no public money will be used for the stadium. FCC would like to piggyback on the stadium tax their President Jeff Berding helped institute in the 90’s to build Paul Brown Stadium and Great American Ball Park. That isn’t going to happen and no politician will commit public money to a controversial project in an election year.

Reading Linder’s remarks in his letter were less than appealing. “The issue at hand is winning an MLS expansion bid over 11 other cities. To do so, we must submit a viable stadium development plan including a public-private funding solution, as Sacramento and Nashville have already done. The new stadium guarantees workable schedules and revenues that help grow a league just 20 years old.” While all of that sounds great the idea of a public-private funding solution is viable in Cincinnati. Not after what Berding did with the PBS deal.

He Didn’t Really Cry Poor, Did He?

“Other cities experiencing a rebirth in the new innovation economy are leveraging the passion for soccer as a beacon for international business investment and population growth. That competitive edge should be part of our region’s future. Greater Cincinnati governments have a strong history of collaborating with individuals and companies to support businesses, non-profit organizations, and neighborhoods through public-private partnerships. These partnerships are necessary when public or private dollars alone cannot finance the progress we want for our region” said Linder. Except, in this case, private dollars can finance the progress of our region if an MLS team is truly progress. Carl Linder along with his family and the Farmer family (part of the ownership group) could easily finance this stadium alone.

The FCC ownership group is worth a combined $3.2B. The proposed stadium will cost around $200M. I’m not a huge math guy but $200M goes into $3.2B a total of 16 times. They could build stadiums for all 11 cities bidding plus 5 more. That $200M is equivalent to just 6% of their combined worth. Yet they ask for public money.

A soccer-specific stadium isn’t going to draw more companies to the tri-state area. A better airport with more carriers and flights certainly would help more than a stadium. An MLS team would be nice, but this city has bigger needs than that. Thankfully CL3 understands that.

“We agree that our community has many pressing needs and an FC Cincinnati stadium is but one priority among several challenges to be met. We are not asking the voters to build FC Cincinnati its stadium.” It’s pretty laughable Linder puts his stadium in the same category as the Western Hills Viaduct, Brent Spence Bridge, and even the convention center. The first two need to be replaced so no one dies and the third will be utilized exponentially more than a soccer stadium. So yeah, a soccer stadium is nice but not if people die when the viaduct or bridge fail. At least we could show their surviving family a nice stadium and why their loved one is dead.

Privately Finance This

Carl Linder III along with the Farmer family should privately finance their stadium. Much like how most of us have to take out a 15 to 30-year mortgage in order to buy a home, they should do the same. If they don’t want to dip into their pockets, finance the stadium and pay it off over time. We can’t beg the city for money to build our homes, why should you?

By that logic, the city/county should pay for everyone’s homes thus allowing us to put more money back into the local economy and attract more citizens. CL3 said a public partnership is beneficial for the region. So is having the county pay for my home. You get that to happen CL3 then we can talk. Until then, fun your own fucking stadium. Or move to Newport.

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