FC Cincinnati exec: Our new stadium will be mumbletaxkickbacksmumble totally awesome!

Word puzzle time! F.C. Cincinnati president Jeff Berding has hidden an important piece of information in a mound of empty rhetoric. Can you find it?

“We’re going to put up, it looks like at this point, over $300 million of our own money to bring the MLS to Cincinnati,” Berding told 700WLW. “It’s going to look nothing like what happened on the riverfront. We’re not going to institute a new tax on our residents. We’re going to use growth-related revenues. We’re very excited about where we are. We think it’s a winning plan. It’s a model plan that people can feel good about. Nashville passed their (stadium plan) last night by a vote of 31-6, and I don’t want to take a backseat to Nashville or anyone else. We’re gonna show Cincinnati can get something like this done, and get it done the right way.”

Spot it yet? No, nothing about the riverfront, that’s misdirection. Not the bit where he tries to guilt Cincinnati about “taking a backseat to Nashville,” though that’s kind of amusing on its own. Keep looking. Ready for the answer?

“We’re going to put up, it looks like at this point, over $300 million of our own money to bring the MLS to Cincinnati,” Berding told 700WLW. “It’s going to look nothing like what happened on the riverfront. We’re not going to institute a new tax on our residents. We’re going to use growth-related revenues. We’re very excited about where we are. We think it’s a winning plan. It’s a model plan that people can feel good about. Nashville passed their (stadium plan) last night by a vote of 31-6, and I don’t want to take a backseat to Nashville or anyone else. We’re gonna show Cincinnati can get something like this done, and get it done the right way.”

There it is! In stadium-demand parlance, “no new taxes” means some form of existing taxes, and “growth-related revenues” means taxes paid by (or around) a new venue — i.e., tax-increment financing. Whether this would just be a kickback of taxes (property, sales, income, who knows?) paid by the stadium itself, or would include a larger district around the stadium, who knows, though it’d need to be the latter if it would pay for any significant chunk of a stadium’s price tag.

Berding has hinted at a TIF before, especially for a stadium in Newport, Kentucky, but this is one of his stronger statements on the matter, if you can call burying it in a sea of clichés “strong.” Berding also said he hopes stadium plans to be public by the end of the week, so maybe we’ll get more details then, though if I were a gambling man I’d put my money on more poorly-scaled renderings.


11 comments on “FC Cincinnati exec: Our new stadium will be mumbletaxkickbacksmumble totally awesome!

  1. Statements like this should be easy for even modestly educated citizens to see through.

    If the elected officials are saying that they will direct $X to “something” and that this will involve no additional taxes, it pretty clearly means that existing spending will be cut (or redirected) to cover the cost of providing whatever this new thing is.

    Taxation is not a magic way to create money. Rather, it is a method of redistributing money. In theory, one of it’s roles is to move money from the fortunate and wealthy to the less fortunate and poor (sometimes directly, sometimes via infrastructure or building projects etc). Another is to fund the operation of government services (which is another story completely).

    If taxation is being used to direct money TO the wealthy, well, I think it’s pretty easy to deduce where that money is going to come from isn’t it?

        • With people on “Jay-Walking” and jurors who sat through a whole US SENATORS corruption trial asking, “what is a senator” after they have gotten together and the 12 of them deliberated for 75 minutes and couldn’t figure it out I doubt there is much hope people wouldn’t look right through blatant comments like those.

  2. His statement would have been really cool if it ended right after he said, “We’re going to put up over $300 million of our own money.”

  3. Edale2.0 sums it up nicely from UrbanOhio

    “All of this money and infrastructure just to support a stadium that MIGHT get the FC in the MLS seems so incredibly stupid. FCC games are already a ton of fun, and their crowds help provide business to the places around UC that could definitely use the business bump in the summer months when the kids aren’t there. The parking already exists, and fans seem to really love Nippert.

    My question, then, is why the hell are we building yet another stadium to try to get to MLS? What benefit does the MLS bring? Cincinnati is already a major league city, and has been for years. We don’t ‘need’ an MLS team in the way that a city like Columbus does to prove that we are a big league town. Furthermore, I don’t think the presence of the MLS does much at all to advance the recognition of the city on a national stage- people simply don’t care about it like they do NFL, NBA, or MLB.

    We could potentially be squandering a redevelopment site that could house and/or employ tons of people so we can build a stadium and parking facilities that will be used a handful of times per year. We’re introducing extreme traffic into one of the City’s most desirable parts of town, and placing a stadium in a location where there could be very little spin off development. All for what? To feed the egos of the Lindners and other team owners? To help placate an inferiority complex of Cincinnatians who are desperate for external validation that their city is big and important? I genuinely don’t get it.”

    • Your correct , MLS won’t do Jack on a national level. However MLS games play on weekly in 170 countries. It’s the reason the business community in Columbus are fighting to keep the Crew.

      • Because business executives are concerned about the world having a proper breadth of programming? Or because they are taking on the role of “city fathers” in the typical way?

        Are you really going to say with a straight face that the Columbus Crew has more to do with the business environment in Columbus than Ohio State? Or the state government of Ohio?

  4. OK, so how about actually finding a solid example of Norwegian business executives who made a business decision because of a soccer player. Or get a neutral study of tourist impact from a soccer team.

    Once you have that, then I’ll concede that it matters.

    I watch the Premier League and I know where Burnley is. And as it happens it is one of the poorest and most depressed cities in England. So how’s that working?

  5. “I don’t want to take a backseat to Nashville or anyone else.”
    If they ever stage a revival of “The Music Man” they are going to have to find a way to squeeze “We’re not going to institute a new tax on our residents. We’re going to use growth-related revenues” into the lyrics of “Ya Got Trouble”.

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