Thursday, 23 May 2024

TQL Stadium: FC Cincinnati’s Impressive Home Ground

Lionel Messi’s recent move to MLS side Inter Miami has provided a major boost for the national soccer league, Major League Soccer (MLS), which aims to raise its profile and attract some of the biggest stars from around the world. Among the numerous teams that have joined MLS in the past decade is FC Cincinnati. Currently, FC Cincinnati is thriving in the Eastern Conference, with their first-ever league title well within reach this season. A significant factor contributing to their success is their new state-of-the-art home: the TQL Stadium.

TQL Stadium: Key Facts and Facilities

  • Capacity: 25,513
  • Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Built: 2021
  • Construction cost: $250 million

The TQL Stadium is one of Major League Soccer’s most impressive purpose-built stadiums. With a capacity of 25,513, it stands among the nation’s larger soccer stadiums. The stadium’s existence is a testament to the path that Major League Soccer is on.

TQL Stadium

The stadium, originally named the West End Stadium after the Cincinnati neighborhood it’s situated within, was officially opened in 2021. It followed several years of construction after MLS announced Cincinnati as one of the teams joining the league in 2019.

In terms of facilities, the TQL Stadium is extremely well-equipped. It cost $250 million to construct and offers plenty of space for the average supporter. It also includes 53 traditional suites, 4,500 premium seats in four premium club spaces, five team locker rooms, extensive offices, a coach’s lounge, and the Mercy Health Center of Excellence, which provides teams with all their medical and match day fitness needs.

History of the TQL Stadium

FC Cincinnati was founded in 2015 to represent the city of Cincinnati, Ohio. After achieving success as a United Soccer League (USL) franchise, the club was awarded an MLS franchise in 2018. Initially, they played their home matches at the Nippert Stadium, a university stadium primarily used for American Football. However, sharing the stadium with the Cincinnati Bearcats football team was not ideal for the club. Hence, in 2017, the search for the new home of FC Cincinnati began.

A site in the West End neighborhood of Cincinnati was secured, and the club performed a land swap with Cincinnati Public Schools to acquire Stargel Stadium on the campus of Taft High School. The football club paid the school board $25 million, built a new $10 million stadium for the high school, and commenced building the new home of FC Cincinnati on the West End site.

The stadium’s design concept images were released to the public in October 2018, but significant changes were made in 2019 when the architectural firm Populous took over the project. The final design was unveiled in 2019, with the seating areas’ navy blue and orange colors being chosen from options determined by a public poll in May 2020.

TQL Stadium: Stands and Dimensions

The TQL Stadium occupies 12.4 acres, with the soccer field measuring 115 x 75 yards. The stadium’s structures around the pitch, including The Bailey, contribute to its status as an important local landmark.

The Bailey, a single-tiered safe standing area located at the goal-end section, houses over 3,000 of FC Cincinnati’s loudest supporters at each match. Situated above the tunnel where players emerge, this stand adds to the matchday atmosphere with chants, drums, flares, smoke, and more.

Every seat in the stadium is covered by a 360-degree canopy roof, providing shelter while allowing sufficient sun for the natural grass field to grow properly. The design of the TQL Stadium prioritizes the specific requirements and targets of a purpose-built soccer arena in a way that few North American stadiums do.

Recognition and Events

The TQL Stadium’s impressive credentials make it eligible to host US Men’s and Women’s National Team fixtures, as well as other CONCACAF or FIFA events. Notably, the stadium received international recognition when it was named the Best Venue of 2022 at the World Football Summit awards event in Madrid, Spain. This recognition reflects the stadium’s design, which intentionally harnesses the energy of a dedicated fan base to provide a world-class soccer experience.

Conclusion

With its state-of-the-art facilities and impressive design, the TQL Stadium demonstrates the progress being made across Major League Soccer. FC Cincinnati has found their spark in this remarkable home ground, where fans can enjoy the action comfortably while indulging in Cincinnati’s renowned food and drink options. As the popularity of soccer in the United States continues to soar, the TQL Stadium is set to host many more big games and create unforgettable experiences for both supporters and players.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When was the TQL Stadium officially opened?
A: The TQL Stadium was officially opened in 2021.

Q: What facilities does the TQL Stadium offer?
A: The TQL Stadium offers a capacity of 25,513, traditional suites, premium club spaces, team locker rooms, offices, a coach’s lounge, and the Mercy Health Center of Excellence.

Q: What is unique about the design of the TQL Stadium?
A: The TQL Stadium features a 360-degree canopy roof and a single-tiered safe standing area called The Bailey, enhancing the matchday atmosphere.

Q: Has the TQL Stadium received any awards or recognition?
A: Yes, the TQL Stadium was named the Best Venue of 2022 at the World Football Summit awards event.

Q: Can the TQL Stadium host non-soccer events?
A: Yes, the TQL Stadium is designed to host both sports and live music events.

Q: What is the significance of the TQL Stadium for FC Cincinnati?
A: The TQL Stadium signifies the progress and growth of FC Cincinnati as they continue to excel in the Eastern Conference of Major League Soccer.