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This Is When FC Cincinnati Will Break Ground On West End Stadium

fc cincinnati design concept 1
Courtesy FC Cincinnati
Turner officials say the light seen eminating from the stadium is artistic license and the design is meant to keep noise and light polution down.

The construction company selected to build FC Cincinnati's West End stadium is laying out a timeline for the process. Turner Construction released initial plans Friday.A public groundbreaking is set for Dec. 18 with a topping out ceremony scheduled for the first quarter of 2020. The target date for a grand opening is March 1, 2021.

Turner Vice President Dave Spaulding says construction fencing should start going up around the construction site Nov. 16. That date is flexible depending on whether the Taft High School football team's season extends into the postseason.

Spaulding says work won't begin until the Taft Senators finish their season.

Demolition work begins first and will be completed in four phases. Turner expects to have 200 to 400 workers on the site over the course of the project. The company says it has around 50 bid packages and expects that number to finish closer to 60. Spaulding says that number is usually much smaller.

The bid packages are divided to offer more opportunities for small business, minority-owned businesses and women-owned businesses. Turner set up a website where anyone can bid on construction-related jobs. The company also has two resource centers - the Turner offices on W. Court St, Downtown and Elevar's offices in Queensgate - where people can walk in and learn about opportunities and apply.

Once demolition is complete, Spaulding says people can expect to begin seeing progress on the facility in March 2019.

"Starting in March is the auger cast piles and foundations, that's where you actually see the start of construction of the stadium and us starting to come out of the ground building structure in May 2019," Spaulding says.

One "fun fact" for soccer fans is the where they can expect to see the pitch or playing surface. Since the land slopes down from Central Parkway to John Street (the borders of the stadium property), Spaulding says the pitch will set at the same elevation Central Avenue is at today.

Stargel Stadium

While Turner says its plans won't interfere with this year's football season, it's unclear when the new Stargel Stadium will open.

While Spaulding expects Taft won't be playing in the new Stargel next year, saying there's not enough time to get that done, CPS spokewoman Lauren Worley says that's still the goal.

Cincinnati Public Schools is in charge of building the new facility on a plot of land adjacent to the high school on Ezzard Charles Drive with funding from FC Cincinnati. The district hasn't announced construction plans. Worley says the district is looking for a construction company and the project is out for bid.

The stadium won't exactly be "new." Most likely, elements of the current stadium will be removed and installed at the new site.

Nothing can start until the Board of Education and The Port (the redevelopment authority FC Cincinnati is running the project through) sign the deal officially swapping ownership of the land upon which Stargel currently sits and where it will go. Worley says the board is slated to vote on that resolution Monday.

After the deal is signed, CPS will lease back use of Stargel for free for the remainder of the season.