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FC Cincinnati To Cut The Ribbon On TQL Stadium

tql stadium fc cinncinnati
Tana Weingartner

FC Cincinnati cuts the ribbon Saturday on the newly named TQL Stadium in the West End. Tech billionaire Meg Whitman is in town for the opening. Shejoined the ownership group in November 2019.

"I've loved it," says Whitman. "I didn't know much about it so it's been a really steep learning curve but business is business. There's some fundamental principles that one can apply to every business. I've really enjoyed working with Carl Lindner and Jeff Berding, who is the president of FC Cincinnati. I've learned a lot and maybe they've learned a few things from me and been able to leverage some of my long experience in business. It's been great fun."

Whitman is the former head of Ebay and Hewlett Packard. She's also aboard member of Procter & Gambleand started her career at the company's Cincinnati headquarters. P&G earlier this month signed a multi-year sponsorship dealwith Major League Soccer.

Credit Tana Weingartner / WVXU
Managing owner Meg Whitman with FC Cincinnati controlling owner Carl H. Lindner III at her introduction in Cincinnati on Dec. 9, 2019.

One of her first goals was helping ensure the West End stadium came in on time and on budget.

"In the middle of COVID that was not necessarily the easiest thing to do," she explains. "Think about all the COVID protocols we had to have for all the construction workers. The supply chain - as you know the supply chain for steel, for cement, for building materials has been disrupted because a lot of the manufacturers have not been at full manufacturing capacity, so incredible kudos to the team that build the stadium."

Whitman says her top priority is stabilizing the core business after its quick ascension to Major League Soccer, but the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) could be next.

"Everyone is very interested in the potential to bring a women's team to Cincinnati," she says. "Rose Lavelle, who is a well-known soccer player, is excited about that; she's from Cincinnati. So, I think in the next few years you'll see us make a move on the NWSL."

MLS Commissioner Don Garber is in town for the event. He participated in a virtual town hall with FC Cincinnati and fans on Thursday.

The ribbon cutting is set for Saturday at 11:30 a.m.

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.