What Else Is There To Say?

image.jpg

What is there to say that hasn't been said about this past weekend's friendly? Back when this team was announced (not even a year ago yet), I never imagined that Nippert Stadium would become such a great venue for soccer. I never imagined that it'd sell out. I never imagined that we'd be watching our local club play visitors from the English Premier League. 

I was hoping we'd occasionally hit 10,000 fans.

I was hoping a strong supporter presence would form.  

Here we are with so many incredible people in Die Innenstadt and a soccer club quickly becoming a local institution. It's still crazy to me that all this didn't exist even a year ago. This past weekend was important for DI, important for the club, important for the game in America, and important for Cincinnati.  

Theres a lot more I could say, already waxing nostalgic on an event that transpired only a few days ago. However, I feel many of my fellow members said it best when I asked them this past weekend. I want to share some of their answers, and that's coming in a story later this week. In the meantime, here's some photos from the match itself.

For the first match in a long time, I parted with the megaphone at the front of The Bailey. I watched from the top, and explored the stadium a bit. The environment all around was incredible. 

At least for the time being, this was the largest soccer crowd in Ohio at 35,061. The news of a sellout came at an event held on Friday night in the stadium's club level. 

Jeff Berding announcing that Nippert Stadium had been sold out. 

Jeff Berding announcing that Nippert Stadium had been sold out. 

The sellout news was great, but the real highlight was when we convinced Crystal Palace's coach Alan Pardew to don one of our scarves.  

Crystal Palace FC Head Coach Alan Pardew donning a DI scarf. 

Crystal Palace FC Head Coach Alan Pardew donning a DI scarf. 

The next day started early. The fine folks at Mecklenburg Gardens really went all out for us. They opened at noon, opened up the entire facility including the beer hall, and even provided a buffet while roasting a pig. That was all on top of their usual outstanding service and wonderful atmosphere. 

Pig roast at Mecklemburg Gardens. 

Pig roast at Mecklemburg Gardens. 

Mecklenburg buffet offerings.  

Mecklenburg buffet offerings.  

This past weekend's march had the largest turnout yet as we walked the mile through Corryville, saluted the Cincinnati Fire Department, and entered into the stadium.

No tarps. Every seat filled. The largest crowd in Ohio soccer history to date:

 

image.jpg
image.jpg
For the first time in FCC's history at Nippert, the upper deck was used.  

For the first time in FCC's history at Nippert, the upper deck was used.  

image.jpg
Regular Bailey drummer Fox Gibson gave blood to keep the crowd on beat. 

Regular Bailey drummer Fox Gibson gave blood to keep the crowd on beat. 

The upper deck filled to capacity.  

The upper deck filled to capacity.  

image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg

Stay tuned for a more in depth story soon, one that reflects what this match meant to many of Die Innenstadt's members (and features your photo if you posed for one on Saturday). 

Until then: Stand with Die Innenstadt, Stand with Cincinnati. 

Juncta Juvant.  

image.jpg

Ronny Salerno is a founding member of Die Innenstadt as well as an author and photographer who appreciates history and Waffle House coffee. He wrote this and made these photographs.

Tom Niehaus is an awesome guy who edits these posts for him and offers creative contributions. Although, Ronny didn't get a chance to ask him to edit anything, because Squarespace didn't want to format properly and it was already 12:30 AM.