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FC Cincinnati unveils stunning stadium design

FC Cincinnati has unveiled a new, progressive design for its West End Stadium, which is scheduled to open in March 2021 and will be the future home of the Major League Soccer team.

The $250 million stadium construction cost is being privately funded by the club’s diverse, local ownership group, which led by FC Cincinnati CEOand managing owner Carl H. Lindner III.

Designed by world-renowned architecture firm Populousand led by Jonathan Mallie, senior principal and directorof the New York office, West End Stadiumfeatures 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.

Lindner said:

We are so proud of this incredible design that Populous has delivered to FC Cincinnati. It has been so well-thought and concepted, so carefully crafted. We believe it will stand as a true icon and unifying force in our city. Our deep passion for FC Cincinnati is to create a legacy in this city, contribute a positive impact on our community and help raise the profile of Cincinnati not only nationally, but also around the world.

We believe that soccer, as the world’s game, is a true unifying force and can bring our region closer together. West End Stadium provides us a remarkable platform to continue pushing those goals even further and enhance our impact not only locally, but across the globe. With West End Stadium as our platform, more people will learn about – and fall in love with – Cincinnati.

Locally, our region’s youth will dream of stepping out on the West End Stadium pitch, playing for FC Cincinnati, and representing the Queen City in a game that is broadcast around the world. Those are incredible motivating factors behind everything we do and West End Stadium is central to actualizing those ambitions.

Mallie added:

There’s a dedication and authenticity to soccer in Cincinnati that rivals any city in the U.S. Our design for FC Cincinnati harnesses the energy of the fans to create a world-class soccer atmosphere.

All image credits: Populous/FC Cincinnati