That's why he rejects the argument from Hamilton County commissioners, who are pushing for FC Cincinnati to play in the Bengals' NFL stadium, and why it won't win Cincinnati a bid for one of the two MLS expansion teams to be awarded in mid-December without a deal for a soccer stadium in place.
“The MLS has been very clear -- very clear -- that a soccer-specific stadium is going to be required to win an MLS bid," Berding told reporters on Thursday. "The notion that we would play in Paul Brown Stadium is fantasy. It is a losing bid.”
FCC needs. FC Cincinnati -- which appears to be in a three-way fight with Sacramento and Nashville for the two MLS expansion spots -- has proposed building a 21,000-seat stadium and paying for it itself.
But FC Cincinnati needs help paying for $70 million-$75 million in infrastructure work -- roads, parking, improvements -- and wants Hamilton County to join the city of Cincinnati in helping pay for it.
FC Cincinnati wants Hamilton County to commit to providing $2.8 million over 30 years from the revenues it collects on its "hotel tax."
Hamilton County counter. Hamilton County had offered to chip in $20 million from garage revenues to fund a 1,000-space parking garage for fans attending games at the stadium.
Mayor's plan. Mayor John Cranley, who supports FC Cincinnati and proposed the "hotel tax" funding plan, will present a funding plan -- subject to city council approval -- on Friday.
Bending says the deadline for a plan to present to MLS is Dec. 1.