Making the Jump to MLS

Tuesday evening was an incredible moment for everyone who worked so hard to make an MLS team in Cincinnati a reality. We were incessantly mocked online – some of it deserved – for our announcement in 2015 and our ownership’s ambition for an MLS team. That ridicule largely subsided when we proved that Cincinnati was ready to support a professional soccer team, though many outside of Cincinnati still didn’t believe the dreams of a top flight team were attainable. This week proved what we all knew the whole time – we had the pieces to win the MLS bid. We had the fan support, the ownership, and the vision to make it all happen. This week is one to celebrate. Though Cincinnati may not have been the preferred market for MLS at the beginning, it was the fan support that brought us across the finish line.

We did it!

 Tuesday Night after the announcement

Tuesday Night after the announcement

But now the question is: what comes next?

In nine months, we will be playing our first MLS match. I won’t go into what the team must do to create a competitive roster, I’ll leave that to the professionals like Orange & Blue Press, Cincinnati Soccer Talk, and Pat Brennan at the Enquirer.

What we are primarily concerned about is how our move to MLS affects our group, and how our group can affect our move to MLS.

How our move to MLS affects Die Innenstadt

For the time being, nothing changes on the outside for Die Innenstadt. We will still be operating pregame events at Mecklenburg Gardens, hosting away watch parties at rhinehaus, and creating a positive impact on our community through charitable giving and volunteer events.

Some smaller things may change with our first two years in MLS while at Nippert Stadium. We may have some changes with smoke policy. We may have some changes with entry procedures at Nippert. And we may have some organizational changes to our group to better prepare for life in MLS. Day-to-day, we don’t expect you to notice many changes for the remainder of the season, and outside of some growing pains, we’ll try to make sure any changes to the gameday atmosphere are positive changes and fully expected.

 

 Open Cup Match on May 16 (Photo: Ronny Salerno)

Open Cup Match on May 16 (Photo: Ronny Salerno)

How Die Innenstadt will impact our move to MLS

Our primary focus for the next 9 months will be ensuring a smooth transition into MLS. We want to hit the ground running in 2019. In addition to our regular meetings with the front office to discuss gameday issues and ideas, we will be working with them to plan for any changes in 2019.

We will advocate on behalf of the fans to maintain affordable ticket prices, merchandise, concessions, etc. Ticket prices will go up with the increase in player salaries, marketing, in-game amenities, and the cost of building a new stadium. But we will do our best to ensure any changes are reasonable – as the team has repeatedly insisted they are committed to.

In addition to changes for the next two years while at Nippert, we will be working with the front office to help plan for the new West End stadium that will tentatively open in 2021. We have already had productive discussions about preliminary details for the new stadium with the other supporter groups. We are committed to a safe standing section for the new supporter section, complete with cup holders and a steep incline. Our goal is to create an atmosphere at the new stadium that is unparalleled in MLS. This is our chance to make a huge, permanent impact on the club.

To accomplish what we are setting out to do, we will need your help along the way. Your input on features in the new stadium will be paramount to providing the best experience possible in the new stadium. The leaders of the supporter groups will not think of everything, and any ideas you have that make things better in a new space will be helpful.

All season long we are also going to continue to need help with various tasks such as staffing the merch table at Mecklenburg Gardens, helping set up banners at the stadium before matches, and volunteering for various events throughout the year. If you are interested in becoming more involved, please reach out to us on Slack or via email. Our Board is elected every year after the conclusion of the season, and if you’re interested in becoming a board member for next year, volunteering at our events is a great way to learn more about the responsibilities involved. Feel free to talk with us about what you think you would like to see in the coming years, and how you think you could impact things going forward.

We’re thrilled that Cincinnati won the MLS bid, and are excited for the new challenges the next few years will bring.

Cheers,

Ryan Lammi
President

Juncta Juvant!

Bockfest ist nah! Bockfest is nigh!

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Join us for an annual tradition!

Bockfest Parade details, a history of bock beer, and other event info

Who: You
What: DI's third march in the annual Bockfest Parade
When: Friday, March 2nd, 2018 (Gather at 5:00 PM, March at 6:00 PM)
Where: Downtown Cincinnati on 8th St. in front of Arnold's
Why: Celebrate the coming of spring and delicious bock beer with fellow FCC fans
Notes: Scarf pickup available before we march, beer is served on 8th St. and at Bockfest Hall at the end of the march.
Facebook Event Page
 

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Bock Beer and Die Innenstadt: A History

From DI President Ryan Lammi

Cincinnati celebrates the coming of spring every year with an annual party known as Bockfest. In addition to the coming of spring we are also celebrating the neighborhood of Over-the-Rhine and bock beer. 

Bock beer was traditionally brewed by monks in the winter. It was generally the first lager-style beer available in the new year, and the timing of this beer often lines up perfectly with the Lenten season. Monks would fast during Lent, but there was one important thing that wasn’t forbidden during this time: beer. Bock beer is relatively high in essential nutrients, which was important for the fasting monks. However, the bock beer is also higher in alcohol content. Bock beers average around 8% alcohol compared to the typical 4-6% of most other lager beers.

Although the word “bock” means “goat” in German, the origin of bock beers actually has nothing to do with real goats. The beer is believed to originate from the German town of Einbeck (which sounds a lot like "a goat") before being exported across the country and around the world. Combining the fasting with a purely liquid diet of high-alcohol beer is a dangerous combination, and led to many stories about how bock beer “actually” got its name.

One such story involves two monks sitting around during Lent who engaged in a friendly drinking competition. After several beers a monastery goat walks by and startles one of the monks as he’s leaning back in his chair and he falls over. He blames it on the goat, but the other monk turns to him and says it wasn’t that goat that knocked him over, but the "goat" in the beer.

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Much like the monks during Lent, Die Innenstadt and FC Cincinnati fans are coming out of a long soccer fast. When the regular season comes around in a few weeks, you don’t want to be the monk that fell over in his chair. We’ll be hitting the ground running with preseason games against the NKU Norse, UC Bearcats, Nashville SC, and Sacramento Republic in addition to our participation in the Bockfest Parade! These events are all within a two-week period, and we need to build up our tolerances before the regular season. Bockfest is the perfect time to do this.

The Parade is on Friday, March 2 and kicks off at 6pm. We start staging for the parade at 5pm in front of Arnold’s Bar at 8th & Main in Downtown. The parade goes through Sycamore Street in Downtown and through Main Street in Over-the-Rhine. If you can’t make it in time for the start of the parade, feel free to jump in at any time along the route. This is open to anyone who wants to march with Die Innenstadt. You don’t have to be a member, but you can sign up and you can pick up your scarf before the parade departs! We’ll post our exact location in our Facebook event here once we arrive, but it shouldn’t be hard to find us. Beer is sold on 8th Street and at Bockfest Hall at the end of the parade.
 

For Bockfest Parade info, you can RSVP to our Facebook event page.

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Upcoming Event Information:

We also have event pages for upcoming preseason events and friendlies set up at the following links:
2/27/18 vs. NKU
3/1/18 - FCC Meet & Greet at MadTree
3/2/18 - Bockfest Parade with Die Innenstadt
3/3/18 vs. Nashville FC Preseason at Gettler

3/7/18 vs. UC Bearcats
3/10/18 vs. Sacramento Republic
 

Please note: Scarf pickup is available at all of these events EXCEPT for the UC Friendly, which we will not have an official pregame for.


Beer sales at the Bockfest parade help support the non-profit Over-The-Rhine Brewery District as they build the Brewery Heritage Trail throughout Over-The-Rhine. We hope to see you at the Bockfest Parade as we once again celebrate one of Cincinnati's most unique events!

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No Matter What Comes Next

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There’s not a day that goes by where some thought about soccer, particularly soccer in Cincinnati, doesn’t go through my head. I read news about various leagues on the bus, I think of ideas for Die Innenstadt while on my bike, I listen to podcasts about the game when I’m driving. It’s been just over two years since FC Cincinnati was announced as an expansion club in the then third division United Soccer League. Since those days of rumors and press conferences, so much has transpired here at home and in the game across the nation. Shaky early marketing aside, I was on board, hopeful about FC Cincinnati from the beginning.

There were a lot of like minded people, we formed this supporters group.

There were even more like minded people. They joined up with us and in other groups across the city.

Then there were thousands of people, they helped fill the stands for record attendances that watched league play, the Open Cup, international friendlies, and the US Women’s National Team.

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From the beginning, I’ve said that I wanted to see FC Cincinnati attain membership in Major League Soccer. I liked that the pursuit of the nation’s top league represented ambition in the new club, I prayed it was true ambition and not just another name to add to the long list of departed minor league ventures in town. I wanted to see the city I love awarded a third major league franchise and to see its profile raised even further.

There’s times where I question whether MLS is the best move, but I’m not naive enough to believe that the alternatives are some sort of clear cut, organic option without glaring issues and hurdles of their own. It’s easy to say you don’t care about MLS if your market isn’t being considered, it’s also easy to be skeptical about the top league when it demonstrates some questionable moves. Regardless, I’ve been thinking a lot about this for awhile, since 2012 in fact. With a decision coming very, very soon, I’ve been trying to rack my brain as to how this is going to turn out.

 Image via the talented  @linsinnati

Image via the talented @linsinnati

In some scenarios I see it going our way, in others I see Cincinnati overlooked in the way so many others do as they fly over, making their assumptions and discounting our home. I’ve finally accepted that it doesn’t matter how many articles I read, how many discussions are had amongst friend, or how many ways we try to speculate on the expansion decisions made in closed door committee meetings. What does matter to me is my city and the things that make it wonderful. Things like this club. More specifically, what comes along with being a fan of this club.

What happens next, well, I want it to go one way, but it’s not the defining reason as to why this is all important. Whether FC Cincinnati joins Major League Soccer or not, I still plan to be an active participant with Die Innenstadt, I plan to do my part to help grow our charity efforts, to help promote our city and its people, to keep having memorable times with friends and what has become an extended family. MLS or not, I plan to cheer on my club and my city, a Die Innenstadt scarf held high above my head.

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For me, this all runs deeper than an expansion committee decision. It’s a part of me, an important aspect of my life, an experience I share with so many wonderful people on match days and beyond. It’s bigger than soccer, it’s bigger than MLS, it’s bigger than our particular supporters group, it’s bigger than me.

No matter what the league is called, no matter where we land, I plan to be as active and as vocal as life allows. For me, this is about more than just stadium locations, political deals, and speculation. This is about people coming together in support of our city, to do positive things, to make everyone’s life have a few more bright moments bookended by a game and team we love, a city we’re proud to call home.

I’m hopeful that Major League Soccer sees our city, our club, and our support as an asset. No matter what they decide, though, I’m here for my city.

Because I love Cincinnati.

How about you?

Thanks for reading and "juncta juvant!"
- Ronny Salerno, Die Innenstadt Board Member

 Image via the talented  @linsinnati

Image via the talented @linsinnati