West End Stadium 101
FC Cincinnati unveiled the final renderings of their future home on Tuesday morning at Elevar Design Group in Queensgate. During a press conference, the club released its ambitious vision of what will be the club’s future West End Stadium, which opens in 2021.
Here are some basic facts about the stadium, which will be “The Jewel of the Queen City’s Crown.”
Name: West End Stadium, although this will likely change between Tuesday morning’s announcement and the stadium’s grand opening when a naming rights partner comes on board.
Architecture Firm: Populous
Opening date: March 2021
Stadium capacity: Between 26,000 and 26,500, a number which will be based on the final seat manifests.
About the interior
The supporter’s section holds 3,100 safe-standing seats that will fill virtually the entire north end of the stadium. Each will also have a seat, meaning FIFA-sponsored events like a U.S. National Team game can be played in the venue. Additionally, the section starts at the field level, unlike The Bailey’s currently raised bleachers at Nippert Stadium.
The other three sides of the stadium will enclose the bowl, with the closest seat to the field only 15 feet away, while the farthest seat is only 130 feet away.
The stadium will include four distinct club areas with each containing different design and in different areas of the stadium
WES will have 59 suites, two party suites and three field-level suites. Those suite numbers are the most of any soccer-specific stadium in the country.
As for premium seating, FCC’s future home will offer 4,500 club seats, which also leads all other soccer-specific stadia.
Every seat in the stadium will be covered by a 360-degree canopy roof. While this is a requirement for new MLS stadia, it will be only the second stadium to be built with that amenity, and it should be both a welcomed addition for fans to cool in the summer or avoid getting rained on, but also an incredible atmosphere component to keep the fans’ noise and energy inside the stadium.
There are also two video boards, as well as two LED ribbon scoreboards that wrap around the mezzanine.
About the exterior
The stadium will have two main façades outside the stadium. On the east-facing side, there will be 513 vertical fins, which will create a wave-like external structure. Each of these fins can light up with LED lights – and West End Stadium will be the only stadium in the world with this feature. A notable building with the feature currently? Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building in United Arab Emirates. On the west-facing façade, the exterior will be a more traditional building structure highlighted by glass, which should transition smoothly into the surrounding West End neighborhood.
The “Grand Staircase,” which rises 30 feet up from Central Parkway, is on the east side of the stadium. The stairs will showcase the Supporters’ March, which will come from Over-The-Rhine, similar to fans walking from Short Vine to Nippert Stadium. This staircase will look similar to Rome’s famous “Spanish Steps.” Rome is a sister city with Cincinnati – a city named after a famous Roman statesman.
The Mercy Health Plaza in the southeast corner of WES will be accessible for community programming for the West End and Over-The-Rhine neighborhoods.
About the field
The West End Stadium will have a grass surface. Currently – and previously – the Orange and Blue have played on an artificial surface.
The field’s dimensions will be 110 yards long by 75 yards wide.
Players will walk out of a tunnel at midfield, rather than from the corner like at Nippert Stadium.
By having a grass surface, FC Cincinnati could host FIFA events, such as the U.S. National Teams and the Concacaf Gold Cup and FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.