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FC Cincinnati stadium set for May opening

Major League Soccer’s FC Cincinnati will open its new West End Stadium in May, the team’s president has announced.

FC Cincinnati is targeting mid-May for its home opener and will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony on May 1st. Jeff Berding, president, FC Cincinnati said:

Mid-May we will open West End Stadium, the crown jewel of a rising Cincinnati. Our new home is built by Cincinnati, for Cincinnati, and we can’t wait! As soon as we receive our schedule from Major League Soccer we will share with the public and hope everyone can enjoy a match in our inaugural season in West End Stadium.

FCC are planning several events before the home opener for season ticket holders, sponsors, construction workers, and the club’s new West End neighbors, including:

May 1 – Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and media photo opportunity; Open House for our West End neighbours and the first play on the pitch featuring West End Pride youth soccer teams; Team Store Grand Opening.

May 2 – “Meet Your Seat” event for season ticket holders and FCC Foundation Ball Drop

May 8 – Construction worker appreciation tour and reception

May 12 – Media Day (during a team practice)

Mid-May – Home opener!

FCC are also planning an away game watch party in the stadium before the home opener, the date is TBD pending release of the MLS schedule.

Designed by world-renowned architecture firm Populous, West End Stadium features an ambitious interpretation of Cincinnati on the rise.

Taking the club’s goal of creating an iconic and ground-breaking design for the city while prioritising and amplifying the fan experience, Populous delivered a design that will stand alone in among North American stadiums and take a place among the world’s most distinctive sporting venues.

The stadium will truly be “The Jewel of the Queen City’s Crown.”

External features include:

  • A complete, 360-degree canopy roof will cover every single seat in the stadium
  • A total of 513 vertical fins will form the wave-like external structure that encloses the stadium
  • Custom LED lighting on each fin will help the stadium appear to glow when lit for evening events
  • Through a feature seen only on West End Stadium, a one-of-a-kind lighting feature utilizing the fins’ LED lighting system will allow unique motion sequences to be displayed on the stadium’s east-facing façade
  • The west-side façade will feature a more traditional, glass aesthetic to create a smooth transition into the surrounding neighborhood
  • A total of six entrance gates will bring fans into the building at concourse level
  • The Grand Staircase rises 30 feet from Central Parkway, providing a regal entrance into the stadium and showcasing the club’s world-famous supporters march
  • The Mercy Health Plaza, located in the southeast corner of the stadium, will provide an acre of visible, accessible community programming space at the crossroads of two neighborhoods: the West End and Over-the-Rhine

Internal features include:

  • Final seating capacity will be between 26,000 and 26,500, pending the final seating manifest
  • A 110-yard by 75-yard natural grass field
  • A central field tunnel that guides the teams out just inches from the fans
  • A total of 4,500 total premium seats in suites and premium clubs
  • 59 Suites, including 2 party suites and 3 three field-level suites, the most in MLS for a venue that does not also host an NFL team
  • Four distinct premium club areas, each with unique designs and amenities, varying hospitality options and different locations throughout the stadium
  • 3,100 safe-standing seats in The Bailey, the designated supporter’s section that encompasses the entire north end of the stadium
  • The Bailey rises from field level at a dramatic 34-degree pitch, continuously spanning both seating levels of the stadium
  • The upper mezzanine wraps around three sides of the stadium to completely enclose the bowl
  • The upper mezzanine is also pitched at 34 degrees, putting the farthest seat in the stadium only 130 feet from the field
  • The closest seat is 15 feet from the playing field
  • Two video boards and two LED ribbon scoreboards that wrap the mezzanine’s façade around the stadium
  • Indoor seating to accommodate 75 media members in the press box, plus three television booths, four radio booths and one auxiliary broadcast booth on the east-facing press level. Six TV broadcast trucks (including satellite trucks) can be accommodated in the broadcast compound, with overflow space adjacent to the stadium.