As FC Cincinnati's coming $250 million Major League Soccer stadium rises in the West End, the team says it is working to include goals for minority and small business hiring included in a community benefits agreement between the team, the Port of Greater Cincinnati Redevelopment Authority and neighborhood representatives.
With about a third of contracts awarded, the team announced in November, almost $55 million of FC Cincinnati's total $84 million in spending on the stadium so far has gone to small contracting companies or those owned by women and minorities.
The breakdown released by the team shows that FCC is roughly on pace to meet the inclusion goals set down by the CBA. The agreement calls for 25 percent of contracts going to minority-owned businesses, 7 percent to women-owned businesses and 30 percent going to small businesses.
So far, about 29 percent of contracts have gone to minority owned-businesses, according to the team, while 5 percent have gone to women-owned businesses and almost 30 percent to small businesses.
“We are striving to lead by example in our commitment to economic inclusion and diversity," FC Cincinnati President Jeff Berding said in a statement. "We want to prove that we are a good neighbor, do things the right way and be an economic driver in our community. I’m proud to see such strong results with only one-third of the project awarded.”
The effort to build the stadium in the historically low-income, African-American community has come with controversy, including votes by the general body of the neighborhood's community council against the stadium and revelations that some residents are being displaced from buildings near the construction site purchased by the team. The community council's executive committee approved the stadium. The CBA resulted from talks between the team, Cincinnati City Council and a handful of neighborhood representatives.
The team says there is still a lot of work ahead before the stadium is completed in spring of 2021 and it is still looking for contractors to complete much of that construction. FCC is directing businesses interested in learning about bid opportunities to an informational website via contractor Turner Construction.