CPS Rejects FC Cincinnati Offer, Saying Proposal Doesn't Meet "Legitimate Expectations"

Mar 13, 2018

Cincinnati Public Schools has rejected a soccer stadium offer from FC Cincinnati. In a letter Monday evening after a school board meeting, the district's attorney, Daniel Hoying, said the club's proposal doesn't meet the board of education's "legitimate expectations for an agreement."

FC Cincinnati offered to build a new stadium for CPS in exchange for the land where Stargel Stadium currently stands. In a memo dated March 10, it also pledged to enter into an education benefits agreement worth $20 million over 10 years. The club promised to pay $100,000 in property taxes to the district during two years of construction, $250,000 during the first five years of stadium occupancy, and $500,000 during the next five years.

After that, the club pledged to pay a sliding scale, based on its profits.

Daniel Hoying responded in Monday's letter that the offer doesn't make CPS "whole." He says CPS should receive $2 million a year based on the projected value of a new soccer stadium. Hoying says the club would pay a tenth of its share of taxes in the first five years, and a fifth of taxes in the next five years.

"The Board of Education will not consider a proposal to swap property with FC Cincinnati unless FC Cincinnati promises to pay CPS its fair share of property on a new stadium built in the district," Hoying writes. "And FC Cincinnati's responsibility to pay its fair share of property taxes to CPS cannot depend on the Club's future profits."

The team has been considering a West End site for a new stadium as it pursues a Major League Soccer expansion franchise. MLS has indicated a new, soccer-specific stadium is a condition of a franchise.