CINCINNATI (CelebrityAccess) — Hamilton County Commissioners on Wednesday rejected a bid by FC Cincinnati to use taxpayer money to fund a new soccer stadium in Cincinnati.
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, FC Cincinnati General Manager Jeff Berding had been seeking $75 million in public money from the city's hotel tax to build the infrastructure for a dedicated Major League Soccer stadium in the city.
County Commissioners passed on the proposal and suggested that the team should instead play their games at Paul Brown Stadium, which currently serves as a home for the Cincinnati Bengals and offered to help use parking revenues to pay for a $15 million parking garage for FC Cincinnati.
"We believe Paul Brown Stadium can work," Commissioner Todd Portune said, per the Enquirer. "Paul Brown Stadium is our first option."
FC Cincinnati General Manager Jeff Berding stated that a dedicated stadium is critical for the club to become an MLS franchise, the Enquirer reported.
"Paul Brown Stadium would not support an MLS team, and any suggestion to the contrary is wrong," Berding said in a statement released in the afternoon. "Therefore, Paul Brown Stadium simply does not work and does not result in a winning bid. It means a losing bid."
The FCC later released a revised statement with softer language and on Thursday, Mayor John Cranley announced he has prepared a new financing proposal for an MLS stadium that he plans to submit to the County on Friday.