FC Cincinnati, the local professional soccer team that was recently awarded a franchise for Major League Soccer (MLS) beginning in 2019, has been working to approve a deal to build a world-class training facility and soccer academy in the City of Milford. At the August board meeting, the board voted to approve an agreement with FC Cincinnati.
The Clermont County Port Authority has agreed to purchase the land and lease it to FC Cincinnati. Because the land will be owned by the Port, the school district would be entitled to no taxes on the new structure and business. However, FC Cincinnati did not feel this was appropriate; they thus agreed to a $50,000/year payment plus other non-cash benefits that will be provided to our students. This is an increase in taxes over what the district currently receives from these properties.
It is important to understand that the school district had no legal place in any of these proceedings. However, Superintendent Nancy House, former Treasurer Debbie Caudle, and current Treasurer Brian Rabe had multiple discussions with FC, the City of Milford, and others to evaluate the situation and determine what is fair to the school district. It is through their work, and the support of FC Cincinnati, that we are receiving the annual payment in lieu of taxes as well as other benefits from the team.
There will be many other perks to our region from the deal as well. The Clermont County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau commissioned an economic study on the impact of FC locating in Milford. The study found that the facility would generate $6.8 million per year from visitors traveling more than 90 miles from the area. Even if this study is only a fraction accurate, the economic boon to our area will be notable from the expected additional investment in our area, such as hotels, restaurants, and attractions.