FC Cincinnati tax subsidy worth $17m approved last year wasn’t actually approved last year, it turns out

Turns out the city of Cincinnati overlooked something last year when it approved its share of $63.8 million in subsidies for a new F.C. Cincinnati soccer stadium: $17 million of the city’s share will come from local hotel taxes, which are controlled by the joint city-county Convention Facilities Authority, which now isn’t sure it actually wants to hand over the dough unless the city agrees to cover any shortfall created in paying maintenance and debt service on the city’s convention center.

If I’m reading this Cincinnati Enquirer article right, it’s the county holding up the shifting of the funds, which makes sense, since the county would be on the hook for any shortfall that the city didn’t fill.

There’s an authority meeting set for this afternoon, at which maybe a solution will be hashed out. Either way, it sounds like the hashing will take place between the city and the county, not the private team owners — heaven forfend anyone ask them to cover any shortfalls — though if there’s an impasse, it could force the team to either delay construction or borrow money at a higher interest rate. (The $17 million is meant to be seed money that F.C. Cincinnati’s owners would then borrow off of — if stadium finance doesn’t make your head hurt, you’re probably not doing it right.)

There’s also a city council vote set for this Thursday on rezoning the land the team owners want to use for a stadium entrance, which is opposed by the people who currently live in buildings located on the proposed entrance site and slated for eviction. The Enquirer says it’s “unclear” if the rezoning will pass, which is journalism code for “we either asked councilmembers how they’ll vote and they wouldn’t tell us or we didn’t get around to asking them before our publication deadline”; many answers remain hazy, in other words, ask again at the end of the week.


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