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Cincinnati City Council approves infrastructure funds for MLS stadium

Cincinnati City Council approves infrastructure funds for MLS stadium
From ESPN - April 16, 2018

FC Cincinnati received a major boost in its hope to build a stadium and secure an MLS expansion slot when theCincinnatiCity Council approved an infrastructure package in a narrow vote on Monday.

Voting 5 to 4 to pass the ordinance, the Council agreed to provide$34.8 million in infrastructure costs while the team will build and pay for a 21,000-seat, $212.5m stadium in the West End neighborhood.

But before those steps can go forward, MLS -- whose owners meet Tuesday in Los Angeles -- must announce Cincinnati as the league's next expansion team.Cincinnati is one of three finalists -- along with Detroit and Sacramento, California -- to join Nashville as new clubs in this wave of expansion.

The Council vote comes after Cincinnati Public Schools agreed to give the soccer club the land it sought in exchange for building a new$10 million high school stadium and contributing to property taxes.

Monday's vote nearly did not pass as councilmanJeff Pastor was holding out for acommunity benefits agreement, whichFC Cincinnati general manager Jeff Berding, a former councilman himself, supplied on Monday.

"This is a win-win, once in a lifetime opportunity," Pastor said, according to WCPO.

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