FC Cincinnati

Courtesy Mike Watts

With Brad Johansen's departure for Raleigh, N.C., Bengals fans will see and hear a new preseason TV play-by-play announcer for the team's game against the Chicago Bears at 7 p.m. Thursday on WKRC-TV.

Meet Mike Watts, just 25 years old, but who already has a very impressive list of ESPN credentials calling professional and college soccer matches (including FC Cincinnati). Plus, he's done Big East, American Athletic Conference, Atlantic 10 and  Patriot League games, as well as play-by-play for Saint John University and Fordham University basketball, soccer, lacrosse, baseball and softball.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

FC Cincinnati is signing its first two Major League Soccer players as it prepares to enter to the top American league in 2019.

alan koch
John Minchillo / AP

FC Cincinnati has extended the contract of head coach Alan Koch through the 2020 season, a year after the team officially enters Major League Soccer. 

Courtesy / FC Cincinnati

FC Cincinnati is going with the local office of a worldwide company to draft its new branding as it prepares to enter Major League Soccer next year.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

FC Cincinnati is choosing an established team to lead construction on its multi-million dollar Major League Soccer stadium.

Courtesy / FC Cincinnati

With a deal in place to build a game-day stadium in Cincinnati's West End and plans to join Major League Soccer next year, FC Cincinnati is looking for a place to practice and groom future generations of players. Club President Jeff Berding says they've found it in Milford.

fc cincinnati
John Minchillo / AP

FC Cincinnati will build a training facility in Milford, the club announced Tuesday. Pending local government approval, the team will construct a facility where the Expressway Park softball complex currently stands. 

Courtesy Espanyol and FC Cincinnati

FC Cincinnati will face a second Spanish team in an international friendly match this summer. Espanyol of La Liga, Spain's top league, is coming to town July 28 at 7:30 p.m.

cincinnati edition
Jim Nolan / WVXU

New information into the death of Kyle Plush is released as his family continues to seek answers. Meanwhile, City Council pushes forward with an independent investigation into why the teen died, despite his two calls to 911 for help. Major League Soccer finally awards a franchise to Futbol Club Cincinnati. The team will join the league in 2019 and expects to begin play in their new West End stadium in 2021. And after more than 40 years covering the news in Greater Cincinnati, Local 12 reporter Deb Dixon retires.

Major League Soccer has made it official – Cincinnati is getting an expansion team. And Morgan Hughes, a leader of the #SaveTheCrew movement, is actually heartened by the news.

fc cincinnati mls
Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Raise your hand if you ever, for a second, believed that FC Cincinnati really wanted to put a soccer stadium in the cramped quarters of Oakley.

OK, now raise your hand if you believed in the fairytale of sticking a Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium in the middle of Newport. FC Kentucky, anyone?

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

After months of political wrangling to get a stadium plan in place, Major League Soccer (MLS) is finally saying those sweet words fans have been waiting for: you're in.

cincinnati edition
Jim Nolan / WVXU

We may find out next week if Futbol Club Cincinnati will win its bid for a Major League Soccer franchise. But what will a new soccer stadium actually cost Cincinnati taxpayers, and how will it affect the West End community? Cincinnati City Council Member Christopher Smitherman calls for a return to two-year council terms. Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune attends his first commission meeting while continuing rehab from his leg amputation. And possible changes are coming to the Cincinnati streetcar.

cincinnati edition
Jim Nolan / WVXU

The Cincinnati Police Department's investigation into the death of Kyle Plush fails to provide answers, prompting City Council to call for an independent investigation. Hamilton County leaders consider increasing property taxes, adding a new levy to help fund the county's Children's Services agency. Cincinnati City Council approves a community benefits agreement between FC Cincinnati and the West End, advancing the team's effort to build a new stadium in the neighborhood. And federal agents raid a Findlay Market merchant suspected of committing more than $3 million in food stamp fraud.

FC Cincinnati / Provided

Cincinnati City Council has approved a resolution accepting an amendment to the community benefits agreement for the West End if FC Cincinnati is successful in landing an MLS franchise and builds its stadium in the neighborhood.

Provided

Updated Tuesday, 3:09 p.m.

FC Cincinnati released a statement to clarify the map published on Monday:

"The attached conceptual site diagram is a draft, potential FCC MLS stadium orientation that has been used for planning and discussion purposes with local officials only.  This diagram is part of a fit study to demonstrate how the stadium could orient on the West End site.  There are other possible orientations, configurations, seating capacities and other design specifications that will be evaluated in a full design process, beginning with the formal hiring of architects, which would commence if an MLS team is awarded."

Original story:

The physical impact of a soccer stadium on the West End is a little more clear, as Cincinnati waits to hear if the facility will come to fruition. Hamilton County Commissioners were updated on the state of FC Cincinnati's plans to build a stadium, Monday morning.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

The full Cincinnati Council debated the proposal to build an FC Cincinnati stadium in the West End Monday, ultimately passing the deal in a 5-4 vote.

FC Cincinnati

The Greater Cincinnati Redevelopment Authority is authorizing preliminary terms for financing FC Cincinnati's proposed stadium in the West End.

Jim Nolan / WVXU

Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger resigns amid an FBI investigation. Cincinnati City Council's plan to investigate City Manager Harry Black draws the city into a lawsuit. Over continued objections from many West End residents, it looks as if that neighborhood will be the home of FC Cincinnati's new soccer stadium. And the Rev. Jesse Jackson brings his call to boycott The Kroger Co. to its corporate doorstep, and raises his objections to the West End stadium location.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Opponents of a professional soccer stadium in the West End say they're not giving up the fight. Many gathered outside Taft I.T. High School Wednesday night to reiterate their stance, a day after the project took a step closer to reality.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Carolyn Jones calls Tuesday night's vote "bittersweet."  The president of the Cincinnati Public School board says they feel like they made the right decision in accepting a deal that will build a soccer-specific stadium in the West End. Jones says board members are also aware of the opposition to the deal.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

The Rev. Jesse Jackson is leading a national boycott of Cincinnati-based Kroger following the company's decision to close two stores in predominantly black Memphis neighborhoods and a third in Clarksdale, Miss. He elaborated on the boycott Tuesday while standing outside the former Walnut Hills Kroger, which was closed last year when the University Plaza Kroger opened in Corryville.

FC Cincinnati / Provided

Updated: 2:40 p.m.

A tentative deal is in place for FC Cincinnati to build a soccer-specific stadium in the West End, likely bringing the team one step closer to a Major League Soccer franchise, if approved.

Cincinnati Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld announced his support of an FC Cincinnati stadium in the West End, unlocking a key vote for the embattled stadium to move forward in the neighborhood. 

Jim Nolan / WVXU

The dispute between Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley and City Manager Harry Black continues as he decides whether or not to accept the severance package offered him. A council member accuses the mayor of possible bribery. Why Neo-Nazis have set up shop in our region.

Jim Nolan/WVXU

The future of Cincinnati City Manager Harry Black is still up in the air after Mayor John Cranley removes a separation agreement previously reached with Black from Wednesday's City Council agenda. FC Cincinnati says no to building a soccer stadium in the West End, then the Cincinnati Public School board approves a land swap for the site, possibly breathing new life into the deal. And a White House correspondent talks about covering the Trump administration.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Updated 4:25 p.m.

Cincinnati Public School board members voted Wednesday to approve a stadium deal with FC Cincinnati in the West End. The vote comes despite the team saying last week it is no longer interested. A team spokeswoman said Wednesday afternoon that statement was still good.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) board members will vote on a proposal to swap a stadium for land to build a new one. The plan would allow FC Cincinnati to build a new soccer facility where Stargel Stadium currently stands in the West End. The team would then build a new stadium for the school district on land along nearby Ezzard Charles Drive.

Jim Nolan/WVXU

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley accuses City Manager Harry Black of taking employees to a strip club during a business trip. The deal between FC Cincinnati and the West End appeared dead. Now, CPS kicks the ball back in FC's court. And the City of Cincinnati now pays nearly $50 million in interest on its debts each year.

cps board fc cincinnati
Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Updated: 6:33 p.m.

FC Cincinnati doubled its offer to Cincinnati Public Schools in a proposed land swap to build a new soccer stadium, but the deal may just have fallen through. 

Provided/FC Cincinnati

Oakley, the West End or Newport? Much of FC Cincinnati’s recent focus has been on the West End, and the soccer team just sweetened its proposed deal to CPS for a stadium there. 

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