It's a new week, which means another round of "Who wants to see a future MLS stadium?" Miami is building a brand new stadium to house Inter (see lawsuit) Miami CF for a few seasons until its final home is built. Last week, Sacramento brought out images of what its new home would look like if it gets one of those shiny MLS expansion tickets. Now it's FC Cincinnati's turn. Not content with just having a solid start to its expansion year (if you ignore the Seattle match), FCC's future looks bright with a future FC Cincinnati stadium.
Ready in time for the start of the 2021 MLS season, FC Cincinnati fans and general fans who enjoy new stadiums or watching MLS grow, feast your eyes on the future West End Stadium.
— West End Stadium (@WestEndStadium) April 3, 2019
West End Stadium is being built by Populous, which has designed four MLS grounds in recent years: Minnesota United, DC United, Orlando City and Sporting Kansas City. It will seat between 25,500 and 26,500 fans, which seems a bit small given the club's wave of interest since it first starting in 2016 in the USL. Cincinnati averaged over 25,000 fans in USL last season and currently has an average over 28,000 in the club's first three MLS matches. The club could easily have gone for 30,000, but perhaps with a few years of financial success in MLS, an expansion will be considered.
The new FC Cincinnati stadium will be a treat for home fans and traveling visitors. All seating will be covered by a canopy roof and the outside will feature (the very trendy) Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) foil facade on the outside allowing the building to light up in Cincinnati colors and designs.
Cincinnati is still among the final 23 U.S. cities bidding to host World Cup 2026 games, but given the smaller capacity (compared to, say, AT&T Stadium's capacity of 80,000+), it's a long shot. For fans in The Bailey and throughout the Cincinnati region, they are just pleased their club has gone from an idea to USL contender to MLS expansion and brand new stadium in a span of about five years.
Meanwhile, let's take a moment to honor the MLS fans putting up with old or horribly located stadiums.
Columbus fans, you saved your team and you'll be getting a new home soon — hang in there. Chicago fans, it looks like you will finally be back in Chicago, but maybe not a soccer stadium. You win some, you lose some. But I hope you get to keep your name (doesn't sound like you will). Revolution fans, you probably are the most dedicated of the bunch. You deserve better than Gillette Stadium, but I doubt you'll get it. NYCFC you are forced to play on that oddly shaped field that struggles to stay together. Yankees and Abu Dhabi money has to eventually get you a new home right?