Readers of the book Field of Schemes — you are all readers of the book, right? if not, would you mind clicking here or here? — will be familiar with the sections of the chapters on the standard stadium playbook titled the “Two-Minute Warning”: the tactic whereby team owners declare an arbitrary deadline to get a subsidy deal done, then if it doesn’t happen by then, declare another arbitrary deadline a bit further down the road.
Well, F.C. Cincinnati‘s owners did just that for their stadium plans, announcing that they would select a stadium site by the end of March, and then when they couldn’t get approval for any sites by then — at least, not on terms where they wouldn’t have to pay full property taxes — blew right past that date without making a decision. But that didn’t mean the clock wasn’t still ticking, nosirreebob:
FC Cincinnati CEO Jeff Berding described the next 24 hours as “critical” in determining where a proposed new soccer stadium would go.
According to Berding, the March 31 deadline was a real deadline, and he is engaging in conversations with Major League Soccer officials to keep the process moving forward.
He would not share details about the specifics of those discussions, but indicated that by noon Tuesday, after the conversations have taken place, he would have a better sense of how the rest of the week would unfold.
That statement by Berding was on Monday, so the 24 hours were up yesterday, and … nope, not a word from him since. So either he’s talked to MLS officials about how to proceed but isn’t telling anyone yet, or he’s talked to them but nothing was decided (beyond “yeah, gotta figure that out at some point soon”), or he keeps calling and getting a busy signal.
Either way, there’s no shame in waiting to make a decision until you actually know what you want to do. But it is yet another reminder that all stadium “deadlines” are garbage, always.