With FC Cincinnati Carl Lindner III demanding $100 million in public subsidies for a new soccer stadium, there has naturally enough been speculation about why the team can’t just keep playing at Nippert Stadium, where the team leads the USL in attendance, and it’s not even close (19,678 to second-place Sacramento Republic FC‘s 11,569). On Friday, however, team president Jeff Berding called using Nippert “implausible due to some insurmountable challenges.” Those challenges, according to WCPO-TV?
Entrances are relatively narrow, especially for soccer, where fans tend to march in together en masse.
Concession stands and restrooms are used differently, too, with soccer fans tending to rush to them together after the uninterrupted 45-minute first half.
Okay, so as ridiculous as “restrooms are used differently” sounds, there is some truth to this: You don’t want to go to the restroom or run out for a hot dog during play in soccer, since you might end up missing the one goal of the whole match. So there does tend to be a stampede to the concourses at halftime.
However, 1) it doesn’t appear to be dissuading fans from turning up at Nippert for soccer currently, 2) Nippert just underwent an $85 million renovation to, in part, build new concourses, 3) new stadiums haven’t done much to solve the problem of halftime soccer crowds, and 4) even if more restrooms are needed, surely those could be added for less than $100 million?
These are all important issues that WCPO seems not to have asked about, possibly because the station didn’t talk to anyone other than an FC Cincinnati exec. (And the University of Cincinnati’s athletic director, who just said they haven’t had any discussions yet about extending FC Cincinnati’s lease.) For an important topic like this, you’d think you’d want your reporter to talk to more than one team source, but maybe that’s just me and my old-fashioned notion of journalism where getting things right matters.