FC Cincinnati today announced it will break ground on its $200 million, 26,500-seat soccer stadium in Cincinnati's West End at a ceremony Dec. 18.
Among those making an appearance at the event: Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, FC Cincinnati Managing Owner Carl Lindner III, FCC President and General Manager Jeff Berding and others.
The event will start at 3 p.m. with food trucks and entertainment. After official remarks beginning at 4 p.m., attendees will be invited to join in a groundbreaking ceremony signaling the official kick-off of construction of the stadium using commemorative shovels that will be given to the first 2,000 guests.
The ceremony will take place at the stadium site, which is situated on Central Avenue at the location of the former Stargel Stadium and surrounding blocks. Demolition of existing structures has been underway for weeks at that location but is not yet complete.
There are still plenty of loose ends to tie up: FC Cincinnati goes before the city's planning commission in January for necessary zoning changes. At least one parcel in the stadium's footprint — the site of the State Theater — hasn't been acquired by the team yet. And there are still questions about parking around the stadium, with the team and Hamilton County tangling over the site and size of a garage the county agreed to build for the facility.
The team says it expects the stadium will be complete by March, 2021, in time for the MLS season that year.