FC Cincinnati Co-CEO Pushing For A New Arena In Town


Neither the NBA nor the NHL is looking to put a team in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Ohio need to find money to update the National Football League’s Bengals home stadium as the lease between the football team’s ownership and the government entity that owns the football facility ends in 2026. It is probably going to cost Cincinnati and Hamilton County more than $500 million to modernize the stadium that opened in 2000. There eventually will be a discussion about Major League Baseball’s Cincinnati Reds’ stadium modernization that will also cost Cincinnati and Hamilton County taxpayers. There is also a notion that Cincinnati, which does not have a National Basketball Association team or a National Hockey League franchise, needs a new arena.

Jeff Berding, who wears many hats in Cincinnati including that of being the co-CEO of Major League Soccer’s FC Cincinnati, chairman of the Visit Cincy and the chairman of the Cincinnati Regional Business Committee Board wants a new arena. Berding is of the opinion that Cincinnati is losing ground in attracting big name entertainment  because Cincinnati has an old arena. “We market the city’s assets to attract tourists and groups to come to Cincinnati. When we have great assets, we have something to sell. And when we have poor assets, we lose out to other cities. The headquarters hotel and the convention center are going to be assets that we can market, but we still lose out, whether it’s for March Madness or for some of the top musical performers or for political conventions. We lose out to our peer cities because our arena was obsolete 20 years ago.” The NBA seems to be focusing on Las Vegas and Seattle as expansion markets. The NHL is not expanding but the league is keeping an eye out on an arena-village plan in the Atlanta market. It does not appear either league is interested in Cincinnati.

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Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase (1) and Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) motion for a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the third quarter of an NFL division round football game, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)