CINCINNATI, Ohio — FC Cincinnati were preparing for their home opener when everything changed and games were postponed for the foreseeable future. 

That shutdown has created a financial ripple effect for one of MLS’s newest franchises — one that caused the team to freeze all internal spending.

  • Construction on West End Stadium has not been delayed
  • MLS is allowing players to start voluntary workouts on May 6
  • The league-wide moratorium on small group and full-team training remains in place through May 15

With no home games being played, the team is losing 90 percent of the revenue it would normally see. So the club has implemented cost-cutting measures, including all executives taking up to a 15 percent reduction in salary. 

Chief Operating Officer Dennis Carroll explains how the front office is dealing with this challenge.

“There’s probably very few sports teams that are going to be in our unique position where we’re trying to level-set and plan for the 2020 season,” Carroll said. “But more importantly, we’re opening a stadium next year, in 2021.” 

Construction of that new facility, West End Stadium is still ongoing, as it was deemed essential by Governor Mike DeWine. 

“There’s been no schedule-timing issues to date, Turner Construction is working very hard, including all the subs to ensure that,” he said. "Our other concern obviously is supply chain issues and that may pop up. But so far, again, knock on wood, we haven’t seen any there.”

There has been some pushback from the city council, asking for money back for the stadium to help balance the city budget. But that motion was denied 6-2. 

We feel like it’s a closed case now that it was voted, that we will retain that money and retain the right to that money. So again, it’s full steam ahead for the stadium. 

The league is allowing players to start voluntary individual workouts on May 6 — a small step toward possibly resuming play this season.

Carroll explains the timetable for a return. 

“You have to kind of recreate a preseason, if you will, in market, before playing any games,” Carroll said. “So by working backwards, if players are going to require around 4 weeks of preseason, we have to get them in early May to begin games in early June.”

The league-wide moratorium on small group and full team training remains in place through May 15. After that we could see the next steps toward a potential return to the pitch.