Major League Soccer to make "major announcement" in Cincinnati Tuesday; more news

Multiple media outlets report that sources close to the league say Major League Soccer officials will be in Cincinnati Tuesday to make an announcement about FC Cincinnati's bid for an MLS expansion franchise.

click to enlarge FC Cincinnati plays at University of Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium - Hailey Bollinger
Hailey Bollinger
FC Cincinnati plays at University of Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium

Hello all. Let's talk news today, shall we?

Multiple media outlets are reporting that Major League Soccer will visit Cincinnati for a “major announcement” Tuesday at Fountain Square. Those reports cite unnamed sources close to the league’s decision making process. So far, neither FC Cincinnati — which has been competing with Sacramento and Detroit for an MLS expansion franchise — nor the league have provided further comment publicly. Previously, the team had said that MLS officials would come to Cincinnati soon for a tour of the teams potential West End stadium site.

• Cincinnati’s population is above 300,000 for the first time in 10 years, annual Census estimates show. Those estimates place the city’s official population at 301,301, a roughly 1.5 percent increase from the 2010 Census. That’s slightly higher than Hamilton County’s overall growth rate of 1.4 percent. Of course, some suburbs in Northern Kentucky and west of the city continue to grow much faster — growth rates in some areas reached as high as 10 percent last year.

• Should the new home of the Clifton Cultural Arts Center and/or an urban nature education center move into one of the city’s largest parks? The Cincinnati Parks Board is considering both of those options. The CCAC, which had to move from its home in the 50,000 square-foot Clifton School when Cincinnati Public Schools reclaimed the building, wants to build a 25,000 square-foot facility on Brookline Drive in the park. That would probably necessitate some parking spaces as well. Meanwhile, The Camping and Education Foundation, which is based in Hyde Park, is interested in a smaller facility on the park’s south side. You can read more about the proposals and reaction from residents in our story here.

• Following concerns that responsibility around the streetcar is a muddled mess, could it get a new organizational structure? Cincinnati City Councilman Greg Landsman yesterday introduced a motion calling for a nonprofit organization made up of business and community leaders to support the streetcar, a bigger marketing budget to attract riders, a dedicated executive director to take responsibility for the transit project and better attention to details, including more performance and financial reviews and a plan to prevent blockages of the streetcar tracks by other vehicles. According to the motion, the plan would end confusion around the tangle of organizations — the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, the city, contracted management company Transdev and CAF, the streetcar manufacturer — who currently have some level of responsibility for the system.

"The executive director must be empowered to manage all the aspects of the streetcar operations, including all contracts and decisions," Landsman says in the motion. “This new leader is arguably the only way to establish an effective management structure in the short-run."

• Several affordable housing buildings in Cincinnati placed in receivership by a judge over terrible conditions for tenants are under contract for sale, city documents reveal. Among them are the Alms apartments in Walnut Hills, which contains more than 200 units of subsidized housing. You can read more about who is buying and how the buildings got to this point in our story here.

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