Music Hall Backers Reiterate Need For More Soundproofing Against FC Cincinnati Noise

Sep 11, 2019

The group tasked with renovating Music Hall says additional soundproofing measures will be needed to ensure noise from the future FC Cincinnati stadium won't affect performances.

In a letter to Cincinnati City Council and the mayor, Music Hall Revitalization Company (MHRC) Board Chairman Tim Maloney says Messer Construction and THP structural architects are investigating how much "the necessary modifications" will cost.

"Such a significant effort will require a public fundraising campaign and phased, long-term construction that potentially will impact the activity schedule of the venue," Maloney writes, adding the Cincinnati Arts Association (CAA) and the building's resident companies will "pursue such an effort as needed to preserve the integrity of this historic landmark."

The city's planning commission is slated to give approval to the final stadium design plan Friday. The CAA and resident companies issued a formal letter Sept. 5 saying they won't object, but the MHRC says it wants council and the mayor to know "of their ongoing concerns about the ill-effects of the stadium on the Music Hall experience."

Officials with MHRC and the CAA declined to comment for this story.

Earlier this year, a Music Hall-commissioned acoustical study by Akustiks suggested noise from the future West End stadium would be audible during performances in the hall's Springer Auditorium. The soccer team objected to the results, releasing its own assessment suggesting the stadium's design will mitigate crowd noise.

An updated stadium design includes "fins" meant to further quell noise, however, an August memo from Akustiks says it doesn't believe the change will produce much of a difference.

The team has said it doesn't think events will overlap very much.

The City of Cincinnati owns Music Hall. The building is leased to MHRC, which recently renovated the building to the tune of $143 million. Resident companies include the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati Ballet and the Cincinnati May Festival.

Editor's Note: Tim Maloney is the co-chair of Cincinnati Public Radio's capital campaign.