Since its first United Soccer League season in 2016, FC Cincinnati mania has swept the region. Now that the team has been awarded a coveted spot within Major League Soccer, the passion and pride of FCC fans remains strong. Read on for all the ways you can get in on the action to cheer on the men who bleed orange and blue.
March into FCC Fun
Gearing up for FCC matches includes libations, cheers, marches, and more. Mecklenburg Gardens in Clifton is just the spot to start your day bright and early as it is an Official FC Cincinnati Pub Partner. Enjoy a special game day menu, drink specials and pre- and post-game fun. The Game Day March begins at Mecklenburg Gardens and drums its way through the streets of Cincinnati to Nippert Stadium filled with smoke, chants and vibrance!
Anyone can join the March, just stay behind the drummers and all will be well. The march begins at Mecklenburg Gardens with FCC supporters group, Die Innenstadt, and meets supporters group, The Pride, at Top Cats as the parade continues through Short Vine. Next, the march makes its way to Hang Over Easy on Charlton Street where it is met with a police escort and The Briogaid joins. The march forges on towards Corteo to greet the bearcat statue and concludes at the University of Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium where all of the supporters groups march into The Bailey on the east side of the stadium. (Learn more about The Bailey below.) Find a detailed map of the route here.
Starting your futbol-filled day in Northern Kentucky? Then head to Covington’s Molly Malone’s where they live and breathe soccer and receive the royal FC Cincinnati treatment. Keep an eye out for specials and even catch a free ride to home matches with Molly Malone’s green shuttle! Supporters group, the Pride, call Molly Malone’s home during watch parties when the team is away. Or head to the House of Orange on Johnson Street in Covington where shades of orange and blue can be found ceiling to floor, and the menu includes a Dutch Lion Burger and House of Orange and Blue Nachos and beer specials on match days.
Other Official Pub Partners of FC Cincinnati include: Rhinehaus, Taste of Belgium-Short Vine, Second Place, Maloney’s Pub, Sacred Beast, Bean & Barley, Taglio, Brickhouse Pub & Grub, The Hangar West Chester, Bucketheads, Longnecks Sports Grill, The Draft, Dive Bar and Street City Pub.
If you are a diehard soccer fan and part of the numerous supporters groups for FCC, then The Bailey is your homebase for cheering loudly and proudly on game days. As the pre-game march concludes, it does so into The Bailey where fans and supporters groups alike take their posts to cheer on the orange and blue until their lungs give out. You will be surrounded by drumming, smoke, scarves, tifos (large hand-painted banners), and an over-flowing sense of community. (Note: Be prepared to stand the whole time!) You do not have to be part of a supporters group to enter The Bailey, however you do need a specific ticket for that section and will be issued a wristband that is required for entrance. Once you make it to the Bailey, get ready for a heart-thumping and passion-filled match from the loudest section in the stadium.
Family-Friendly Fan Favorites
Bringing the family together for an outing to an FCC match is just the beginning of the fun to be had at Nippert Stadium. The soccer club offers great rates and seating especially for families who want to cheer on their FCC Lions in a calmer setting than The Bailey. The stadium is full of appetizing food choices for all ages, including UDF ice cream, Skyline Chili, funnel cakes, SnoCones and so much more. (Local craft beer in addition to domestic and import options are also available for parents!)
FC Cincinnati is fit for the smallest of fans. Through the Kids Club program for ages 4-12, kids receive two complimentary tickets, official FCC merchandise, and exclusive member-only event invites. Memberships are $25 for the season. Kids also get a chance to meet Gary the Lion (FCC's mascot) before every home game in the Kids Zone on Sheakley Lawn located just outside the stadium.Gary also roams the concourse level of Nippert Stadium throughout the game. He loves to dance, so be sure to keep an eye out for his one-of-a-kind moves!
New this year is the first annual free Fan Fest on August 4, 2019 (registration required). FCC players will be present for a kids mini clinic and autographs. The event will also have inflatables bubble soccer and skills challenges on the field, as well as locker room tours and discounted concessions prices.
Official FCC parking is available in designated University of Cincinnati campus garages for $15 per vehicle. Parking information and availability can be accessed through UC parking Services, click here for details. Prepaid parking is available for the Campus Green Garage up until 11:59 p.m. the night before the match, and cash parking is available in lots surrounding the stadium on matchday. Limited metered street parking is also available for early birds!
Check out this map for walk times and garage locations.
Written by Abby Davidson