CINCINNATI, Ohio — The excitement is real for the first-ever game at TQL stadium for FC Cincinnati. The fans have been waiting a long time for the $250 million stadium to be open and to witness the first game here. They say that this is a historic day.

What You Need To Know

  • TQL Stadium opened its doors on Sunday

  • The stadium cost $250 million and holds 26,000 fans

  • For the first game, only 6,000 fans were able to attend because of COVID-19 precautions

  • Team officials hope to get the capacity to 100% in the next few home games

​​As the doors to TQL stadium opened to the first fans it was pure excitement.

“Been looking forward to this day a long time," said Rick Toepfer, a season ticket holder.

Tony and Kristy Vanderhaar were among the first through the gates.

“Just to take it all in and make sure that we can take every bit of it in that we can," Tony said. "Of course we’re going to be down here early.”

They said they're big fans of the team.

“On a scale of one to 10?" Tony said. "How about 12.”

The couple has been season ticket holders since day one and say this stadium means a lot to the city and its soccer fans.

“Pure excitement," Tony said. "I mean, it’s been over a year since we’ve been to a home game and it’s sad not to be able to send Nippert off in the right way. But to have a brand new stadium like this, to finally be back in person instead of watching it on TV, here live watching the guys. I’m speechless.”

They took the extra time before the match to check out their seats in the third row.

“It’s amazing," Kristy said. "I just can’t even believe we’re sitting here.”

And as the game kicked off fans couldn’t contain their excitement.

“We’re excited," Toepfer said. "We’ve been fans for a long time. Having it local and a pro team, we’re excited to be here. We’ve been fans, like I said, forever.”

While the stadium holds 26,000 people, only 6,000 got the chance to witness history. Fans are hopeful they’ll see a packed house soon.

“Six thousand people. It’ll be huge," Toepfer said. "But I can’t wait until it’s 25,000.”

“I believe it’s going to be outrageous but it’s a shame that we can’t pack this house like it should be," Tony said. "But even with the limited amount of fans that can be here, oh, I’m sure it’s going to be ear-deafening.”

The stadium wasn’t at full capacity for its first match and won’t be for the first few games. But team officials say that they’re hopeful that after that they’ll be able to bump it up to full capacity.