Best Of 2018

Best Reason to Paint Yourself Orange and Blue: FC Cincinnati

Best Reason to Paint Yourself Orange and Blue
click to enlarge HAILEY BOLLINGER
Hailey Bollinger

The hottest sports ticket in town belongs to FC Cincinnati, which spread its orange-and-blue fandom across Cincy during its inaugural season in 2016. With uber-professional business and marketing efforts led by the deep pockets of Carl Lindner III and former Bengals executive Jeff Berding, the organization asked for — and received — the city’s utmost attention. Then it followed through on the pitch, making the United Soccer League playoffs and competing against top European teams in friendlies and taking down Major League Soccer clubs along the way. As fans became more and more devoted, it was not uncommon to see stripped-down dudes covered in orange and blue body paint and chanting, drum-beating, soccer-scarf-wearing fanatics at the University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium, where the team played its 2017 season. European futbol fever plays out on the historic football field and in “The Bailey,” where FCC support clubs get real rowdy, lighting off colored smoke bombs, tossing up tifos and generally enacting flamboyant displays of futbol pride in a spirited section just behind the north goal. Bailey 2018 season tickets sold out almost immediately, so don’t expect to party with the big boys at the game — you’ll have to settle for painting your face and torso in the sideline seats. FC Cincinnati, fccincinnati.com.