CINCINNATI – FC Cincinnati will play its first-ever MLS game at Nippert Stadium on Sunday, March 17, when the club hosts MLS Cup finalists Portland Timbers in a 5 p.m. game that will be televised nationally on FS1 and carried on the radio by WDJO.
Ticket sales for the game are approaching 30,000 two weeks out, and are selling fast. A host of ticket options – including season ticket memberships, single-game and mini plans – are available at fccincinnati.com/tickets or by calling 513-977-5425 (KICK).
To celebrate the milestone match in club history, a host of activities and events have been planned for the game and in the week’s lead-up to the match.
Mercy Health will present the inaugural home game, and provide more than 25,000 free Mercy Health jersey towels to fans attending the game. The towels are designed to replicate FCC’s inaugural primary kit, and will be distributed at the Nippert Stadium entry gates while supplies last.
Beginning with the March 17 home opener, expanded pregame firework and pyrotechnic elements will be presented by Rozzi Famous Fireworks at each home game in 2019.
In recognition of FC Cincinnati’s move to MLS, a ceremonial FCC flag will be raised above the south (horseshoe) end of Nippert Stadium prior to the game. This flag will then fly above the stadium every game this season. During the flag raising, fans will be signaled to raise their Mercy Health jersey towels for a commemorative photo.
An American flag will be delivered onto the field by Team FastTrax, the professional skydiving team. Their landing in Nippert Stadium will be streamed live into the stadium via jumper cameras, giving fans a birds-eye view of the Nippert Stadium atmosphere in the lead-up to kickoff.
Cincinnati-born recording artist Lauren Eylise will perform the National Anthem. Her EP “Life/Death/Life” is available through all music streaming services.
In the 30th minute, a special panoramic photograph of Nippert Stadium will be taken, which will later be available for purchase.
Several new activities will also be available to fans pregame on Sheakley Lawn, which can only be accessed via the Gate 2 entrances off Corry Blvd.
The new Striker Challenge (see below) will be set up for young fans to test their skills. Kids can accumulate points at each match, and the season-long standings will be posted on the Stadium video board during halftime of every game.
Also on March 17 in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, the McGing Irish Dancers will be performing for fans, demonstrating traditional Irish Step Dancing.
The FC Cincinnati supporters march will also return in 2019, again beginning at Mecklenburg Gardens, proceeding down University to Short Vine to Ladder 19. The unified group then proceeds together down W Charlton St. – across Jefferson – to the UC Bearcat statue between Sheakley Athletic Complex and Fifth Third Arena. From there, the mass of supporters proceeds to Champions Ave. to Corry Blvd., and into Nippert Stadium via Gate 3A in the south end of the stadium.
Cincinnati Striker Challenge Tour
The week leading up to the Orange and Blue’s MLS home opener, FCC will take the Striker Challenge on tour around the region.
The FC Cincinnati grassroots team will visit five different locations, beginning Wednesday, March 13 and running through Saturday, March 16, taking the skills test on the road around the Queen City.
Each Striker Challenge contestant will have 30 seconds to take five shots on a special goal. At each stop, the fans who accumulate the most points will have the chance to win a personalized FC Cincinnati primary jersey.
The Striker Challenge schedule* follows:
- Wednesday, March 13 – Summit Park (4335 Glendale Milford Rd, Blue Ash, OH 45242) – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Thursday, March 14 – Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden (3400 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45220) – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Friday, March 15 – Fountain Square (520 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH 45202) – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Saturday, March 16 – Liberty Center (7100 Foundry Row, Liberty Township, OH 45069) – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Saturday, March 16 – The Greene Town Center (4452 Buckeye Ln, Beavercreek, OH 45440) – 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
* Subject to change. Check fccincinnati.com and @fccincinnati on Twitter for the most up-to-date schedule information
FC Cincinnati will travel to Atlanta on Sunday, March 10, to face Atlanta United FC at 5 p.m. in a game that will be televised nationally live on ESPN, streamed on WatchESPN and carried on the radio on WDJO. The Orange and Blue will make their home debut as an MLS team at Nippert Stadium on Sunday, March 17, when the team hosts MLS Cup finalist Portland Timbers at 5 p.m. Season tickets, mini plans and individual-game tickets are on sale at fccincinnati.com/tickets or by calling 513-977-5425 (KICK).
For up-to-the-minute information about FC Cincinnati, visit the team’s official website at fccincinnati.com, or follow the team on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @FCCincinnati.