FC Cincinnati announced its new Premium Club options for the upcoming West End Stadium. These will be available for Season Ticket packages and for single games. West End is under construction for a 2021 opening. This is will be the home of an FC Cincinnati team which is an inspiration for a city that has suffered a relative run of bad luck in other sports.
Cincinnati’s Bad Luck With Sports
FC Cincinnati was the first of the city to bring home a championship, when they won the United Soccer League championship in 2018. They have since been given a bid to move up to Major League Soccer. Now, they play against teams like the New York RedBulls and the L.A. Galaxy. Cincinnati has not had much luck recently in the MLS, but this could change at any time in the future, especially with an exclusive place to call home.
FC Cincinnati’s home as of late has been Nippert Stadium, where the University of Cincinnati Bearcats football team plays their home games. Many of the fan traditions the city and team take pride in have sprung up because of this prime location. These traditions include marches to the field from adjacent parts of the city and, of course “The Bailey,” the official fan section of the team. It really feels like soccer has arrived in Cincinnati and West End Stadium will continue this, with just the personality that Cincinnati can add to it.
FS Cincinnati Club Packages
First Financial Club
The first and most cost-efficient club pricing option is the First Financial Club. This option is described as “a take on a classic beer hall customized to a modern Cincinnati.” It seats 2,117 and the seats are covered by the stadium’s 360 degree roof. It will include two dining areas and two bars. The communal dining area and bars will feature dedicated restrooms, a private entrance and open two hours before every game.
The concept art of the dining area, with its double height ceiling and long tables, looks like a bar out of a sitcom transplanted to a state of the art sports facility. This club certainly looks like it would be a great place to catch a game. The only conceivable drawback here is that the communal dining and bar areas do not have direct views of the pitch. The 2,117 seats are arranged in 24 rows in front of the communal areas on the east side of the pitch, which is the visitor’s side. It shouldn’t be too big an issue for the die hard fans of FC Cincinnati, though.
Seats in this club go for an estimated $59 to $74 per game, so this would be an option for any fan.
The Cincinnatus Club is the next most expensive club. It is a more modern looking space, judging by the renderings. It’s “designed to promote socializing before and after the game as well as at halftime.” This space will feature three dining areas and two bars. This club also has no pitch views in the communal area, but it seats 1,100 outside it on the west side of the stadium, which will be the home side. It also boasts dedicated restroom facilities, “elevated dining options” and includes the option of reserved parking available for purchase. This also seems to have more of a private club setting and more is exclusive than the First Financial Club, which is still a private indoor club.
Seats in the Cincinnatus Club have an estimated price of $100 to $112, including parking and all food and drinks.
Pitch View Club
If you were looking for the bright side of this club option, you don’t have to look very far. The Pitch View Club is pretty much as easy as it could be. This is the first club option with views out on to the pitch from the communal areas. The Pitch View Club is much more exclusive, with only 790 seats, and the same three dining areas and two bars as before. The major difference is the Pitch View Club is on the home side concourse level below the Cincinnatus Club.
The concept art looks exceedingly slick and modern in a neutral gray that will pop in contrast to the giant floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto the pitch. It boasts all the amenities of the the other clubs, along with Cincinnatus Club access via an indoor staircase. The seats are on an outdoor veranda overlooking the pitch.
Prices for this club are higher, at $188, including reserved parking, food, and drinks.
The Tunnel Club is the premium choice of the bunch. The description for this club says it’s “akin to courtside seats for an NBA game.” The concept art reminds me of the more upscale hotel lobby I’ve ever seen; a Ritz-Carlton dropped in the middle of a rowdy and intense soccer game environment. It includes reserved parking in the price of the package for season ticket holders. Everything is exclusive and upscale in this club, including the “chef driven menu” and top shelf only bars. This is all included with the ticket.
The biggest privilege of this club is that the players and referees all congregate in the club’s middle section before the start of the game to process onto the pitch pregame. This club also has direct access to the post game press conference. The seating capacity is 390 and the seats are located directly behind the home team bench, just like courtside seats would be. This would really be the ultimate fan experience.
These seat, however, are going to cost that fan. They start out at $442 to $589 for a single game, with everything included in the price of the ticket. Except the Uber ride home of course!
Why Does Any of This Matter?
This means that FC Cincinnati, more than ever before, has the backing of the Cincinnati community at large. The front office can spend less time on other things and focus on growing this team going forward. I’ve heard detractors say that a small market team won’t be able to attract the talent needed to compete in the MLS, but this stadium and the premium club packages represent a step forward in solving the small market complex.
More revenue coming in from fans, and no payouts to UC, means the club has more money to invest in the team. This will allow the charm and personality the city has to enter into a player’s decision. This is an exciting step forward for this team.